On December 31, 2021, Betty White was found dead in her home. At the time, she was weeks away from turning 100 years old. Before her passing, People interviewed her to commemorate what would have been her 100th year on earth, on December 17.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Betty White’s passing,” Dan Wakeford, the editor-in-chief of People, noted to Insider in a press release. “We are honored that she recently chose to work with People to celebrate her extraordinary life and career.”
According to IMDb, her acting career began in 1939 with roles that weren’t particularly noteworthy. Her big break came in 1950, where she bagged a role in the television show “Life with Elizabeth.” She played the central part and impressed everyone. Her career skyrocketed from there, and she began to take on other huge roles.
In 1992, she also played a role in “Golden Girls.” This was another notable role of hers as she joined Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan to dissect social issues no one wanted to talk about at the time.
What Did She Say In The Interview?
In an exclusive interview with People, White expresses how she feels about turning 100. “I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” says the veteran actress. “It’s amazing.”
She also explained her reason for leaving as long as she did. She told the magazine that “having a sense of humor” has helped her in her 99 years on earth. She noted that she has found happiness by “looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside.”
“I always find the positive,” she added. “It takes up too much energy being negative.”
She also added a piece of advice as she concluded. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can lie to others—not that I would—but you cannot lie to yourself.”
Additionally, per White, she doesn’t eat green food. That means no vegetables and no salads. It was a joke, but it may not be much of one. White previously mentioned in a 2018 interview that she still consumed vodka and hot dogs, even though no doctor recommended that.
The Real Secret For Her Longevity
Although it’s possible to say how White managed to get to 99 years, it could have alluded to a few things. It could have been her genes or lifestyle. It could also be her going after what she wanted and loved and never stopping.
It could also be alluded to her being a good person. While she was alive, White was a famous advocate for animal care and racial justice. Her advocacy was long before it became popular.
In 1954, White protested for Arthur Duncan when some television networks wanted him removed from her show. According to USA Today, White had her show named “The Betty White Show.”
It was Duncan’s first job, and when some stations threatened not to air the show because of him, White stood her ground. She refused to lay him off and, in fact, used him for more jobs. This would be the beginning of Duncan’s success story, no thanks to White.
What Do Co-stars & Friends Think About Betty White?
As part of the interview, White’s friends share their experiences with the famous actress.
“She’d come on my show, The Carol Burnett Show, and if there were a tinge of risqué humor in one of our sketches, she’d roll with it and make it even funnier and add a little wink to show that she was thinking of something sexy,” says Carol Burnett.
“She’s not a stand-up. She’s not a jokester. It’s the way she can twist a line to get a laugh.”
Her co-stars in “The Proposal” have nothing but praises for her as well.
“Timing isn’t easy in comedy because you have to navigate other people’s timing. Betty pivots like I have never seen, making it look seamless,” Sandra Bullock says. “The rest of us just remain silent and pray we’re not cut out of the scene.”
Another co-star, Mary Steenburgen, says White “puts out so much light into the world,” but the TV icon “loves to throw her little F-bombs around and does it with this beautifully dimpled smile.”
What Does Her Agent Say About Her?
White’s close friend and agent, Jeff Witjas, mentioned that he often reminded her of how fans deeply loved her.
“Even when she wasn’t working, I said, ‘Betty, millions of people out there are still asking for you. You’re getting your fan letters; I’m getting offers for you.'”
View this post on Instagram
He continued, “I would always reinforce it with her because I always felt she should know that. I never wanted her to think while she was sitting at home that the world had passed her by. It never did.”