Betty White, the award-winning actress and comedian famed for her roles on The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died at age 99, ABC News has confirmed.
Her longtime agent and friend, Jeff Witjas, told ABC News in a statement, “Betty has had a fantastic life and career and she was one of the positive people I know. I know that she is thrilled to be reunited with her [late husband] Allen Ludden.”
“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” she told the magazine. “It’s amazing.”
In 2013, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized White with having the longest television career for a female entertainer.
During a career that spanned more than 75 years, White received 23 Emmy nominations and won six. She also held the record as the oldest Emmy nominee overall, receiving her most recent nomination in 2012 at age 90.
Born an only child in Oak Park, Ill., Betty Marion White moved with her parents to Los Angeles at age 2. She began her career in radio, as a singer and voice actress.
Her big television break came in 1949, co-hosting a daily live variety show, Hollywood on Television. Based on one of the sketches from the show, White and two others came up with the sitcom Life with Elizabeth, in which she played the title character. The show was a huge boost for her career, and White became one of the first female producers in Hollywood.
White went on to appear in other sitcoms, late-night talk shows and daytime game shows. It was during a 1961 appearance on the game show Password that White met her third husband, the host Allen Ludden. The couple remained married for 18 years until Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981. White never remarried. A stepmother to Ludden’s three children, White never had children of her own.
After The Golden Girls ended in 1992, after seven seasons, White guest-starred in a number of shows, including Ally McBeal, The Ellen Show, That ’70s Show, and Malcolm in the Middle. Her most recent roles were playing Elka Ostrovsky in the sitcom Hot in Cleveland for six seasons, and hosting the practical jokes show Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.
Off-screen, White was an ardent advocate for animals and pets.
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