Betty White, doyenne of US television, dead at 99

i24NEWS - AFP/Reuters

2 min read
Actress Betty White accepts Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award onstage during The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 26, 2015 in Burbank, California, United States.
Jesse Grant / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFPActress Betty White accepts Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award onstage during The 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 26, 2015 in Burbank, California, United States.

'Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever'

Actress Betty White, who made US television audiences laugh for more than seven decades, starring on popular sitcoms "The Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," died at age 99, US media reported Friday, citing her agent.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," People magazine quoted her agent Jeff Witjas as saying. 

TMZ cited law enforcement sources saying she died at her home on Friday. No cause was cited.

White started her entertainment career in radio in the late 1930s, and by 1939 had made her TV debut singing on an experimental channel in Los Angeles. 

White was still starring in a TV sitcom "Hot in Cleveland," at age 92, until it was canceled in late 2014.

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"It's incredible that I'm still in this business and that you are still putting up with me," White said in an appearance at the 2018 Emmy Awards ceremony, where she was honored for her long career, according to Reuters.

"It's incredible that you can stay in a career this long and still have people put up with you. I wish they did that at home."

Minutes after news emerged of her death, US President Joe Biden told reporters, "That's a shame. She was a lovely lady." 

His wife Jill Biden said, "Who didn't love Betty White? We're so sad about her death," Reuters reported.