Beloved actress, comedian, and American icon Betty White died just weeks before a milestone birthday … TMZ found out.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Betty died shortly before 9:30 am in her home on Friday.
A media trailblazer and pioneer, Betty had the longest career for any woman on television before her death – she starred in multiple shows over the past 8 decades, starting in 1939.
Betty is perhaps best known for her starring role as Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls,” which ran from 1985-1992. However, she has starred in TONS of other great hits her entire life.
Betty began radio appearances in the 1940s on “Blondie”, “The Great Gildersleeve” and “This is Your FBI”. Eventually she got her own radio program. In 1949 she began working on a TV variety show with Al Jarvis called “Hollywood on Television” – which she later co-hosted – before breaking out into other TV roles.
Her groundbreaking comedic role came in 1973 when she played Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” … which ran until 1977, when she got her lead role on “The Betty White Show”.
With 115 actors, Betty has had roles in productions such as “Life with Elizabeth”, “Date with the Angels”, “The Love Boat”, “Mama’s Family”, “The Golden Palace”, “Ladies Man”, “These 1970s Show, “Higglytown Heroes,” “Boston Legal,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Pound Puppies,” “Hot in Cleveland” and many, many, many other shows and films.
She has won 5 Primetime Emmy Awards – including 2 for “Mary Tyler Moore”, 1 for “Golden Girls” and 1 for her “SNL” appearance in 1975 – as well as Screen Actors Guild Awards, American Comedy Awards and even a 2012 Grammy.
She has been nominated for several Golden Globes and has been honored with many Lifetime Achievement Awards and Celebrations by several organizations.
The last time we had Betty on camera, she teased her Facebook page launch in 2012.
As we reported … Betty was extra careful during the pandemic, mostly chilling at home and pass the time through reading, watching TV and doing crossword puzzles.
Betty was 99 and would have celebrated her 100th birthday on January 17th.