Betty White‘s death left a hole in millions of hearts, including those belonging to Tom Sullivan and his family!
The late icon’s memory continues to be honored through her fans and loved ones since her shocking death on New Year’s Eve at 99-years-old.
On Thursday, January 20, Sullivan, the actress’s longtime friend and collaborator took a walk down memory lane as he shared White’s profound impact on his family.
Tom Sullivan Honored Betty White With An Emotional Tribute
Sullivan’s lengthy and heartfelt tribute to “The Golden Girls” star was shared on her Instagram page in three wonderful slides.
The first snap captured the late cultural icon posing alongside the 74-year-old and his family, while the remaining slides contained a candid description of the pair’s 54-year friendship.
The motivational speaker stated that his longtime friend deserved to be described as a “national treasure” with the incredible honors she achieved over an “8-decade career” in Hollywood.
However, for the Sullivan clan, the honorary Mayor of Hollywood was more than an entertainment goddess as she helped the family in various ways.
The “If You Could See What I Hear” author, who has been blind since birth, met the “Hot in Cleveland” actress and her late husband Allen Ludden while performing at a small club in Cape Cod.
The deceased couple, who were acting in a play at the Dennis Playhouse, would visit the club after their show to hear Sullivan sing their favorite songs.
Once their friendship blossomed, so did White’s role in the singer’s life as she introduced him to Patty Steffen, who became “The Impossible Dream” artist’s wife of 53 years.
That wasn’t all! The First Lady of Television also helped the family’s patriarch step into the world of show business by ensuring popular talk shows knew about the “young Tom Sullivan.”
The firm friends also shared a deep connection in their love for animals as White rehabilitated Dinah, the blind singer’s first guide dog, who could no longer assist him.
View this post on Instagram
In honor of the late golden retriever, who was constantly seen by the Emmy winner’s side on TV shows, “The Proposal” actress annually funded the training of a guide dog over the last 20 years.
The cultural icon’s role in the “Airport ’77” actor’s life continued to his two children, daughter Blythe and son Tom, who affectionately referred to the comedian as “Gram III.”
Sullivan revealed that his children had an intimate connection with the late actress, who actively participated in family activities like attending “Blythe’s horse shows” and helping Tom with his “gigantic fish tank.”
The heartbroken patriarch ended his emotional tribute by stating that his words were pale compared to White’s impacts on his family.
Other Heartwarming Tributes To “The Golden Palace” Star
Earlier this month, The Blast reported that the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore (GSJS) made a commemorative patch to acknowledge White’s remarkable achievements.
This unique tribute was part of the organization’s Amazing Woman of the Month series, which aimed to inspire the younger generation with some of the world’s most prominent female icons.
“The Lorax” voice actress was chosen as the face of the January program, which gave Girls Scouts a chance to earn the commemorative patch and discover more about White’s legacy.
The GSJS weren’t the only ones honoring the late icon’s memory, as Guide Dogs For The Blind paid tribute to the Hollywood veteran by naming a puppy after her.
The young golden retriever was named “Betty Rose,” a reference to White’s character in “The Golden Palace,” and this pup would begin training once she turned six weeks old.
The organization’s actions were to commemorate the animal lover’s contributions to their cause, which she passionately supported for decades.
As previously shared by The Blast, the legendary actress died because of a “cerebrovascular accident” or stroke that occurred six days before she passed away.
The cause of White’s demise was listed in her death certificate, which also stated that the Hollywood Walk Of Fame alum was cremated, and her remains were given to family members.
On the bright side, the Grammy winner wasn’t severely affected by the stroke as she reportedly remained “alert and coherent” until her final moment.