Betty White: An Icon Lost


photo by PEOPLE Magazine

PEOPLE Magazine ran their Betty White exclusive just days before her death. Various celebrities sent out condolences vis social media.

by Anelina Alegre, Staff Reporter

Betty White was a well-loved American actor who unexpectedly died on Dec. 21, just weeks before her 100th birthday. Her sudden death brought grief and sadness to America, disheartening both fans and fellow celebrities.

Many celebrities and public figures expressed their grief at the loss of White through social media tributes and interviews. According to AP News, even President Joe Biden expressed his condolences to reporters saying, “It’s a shame. She was a lovely lady …. Ninety-nine years old. As my mother would say, God love her.” Film star Ryan Reynolds also tweeted his condolences: “The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.” Arguably, the saddest fact about her passing was that White was merely weeks away from her birthday on Jan. 17, so close to reaching 100 years of age. Before her death, she recently told PEOPLE Magazine that she felt “so lucky to be in such a good health and feel so good at this age.” 

In her early career, White landed an unforgettable role on her very first sitcom, Life with Elizabeth. She later hit the Hollywood dream as a rising star on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, an American sitcom, and along with appearances in other iconic shows, like the notable The Golden Girls. In her elderly years, she spent her time enjoying small pleasures like puzzle games and card games in her Los Angeles home. Carol Burnett from The Carol Burnett Show describes her as witty and naturally funny, being able to “twist a line to get a laugh.” White’s lively humor and witty persona made her loved by all, a sensational and cherished star.

A hot debate going on around the internet is whether White’s untimely death was “jinxed.” PEOPLE Magazine ran a special interview and featured White on a magazine cover to celebrate her upcoming 100th birthday just three days before her death. Social media users suspect that the ahead-of-time birthday celebration jinxed White’s death, somehow compelling it to happen only 17 days before she would turn 100. Journalist Ben Dreyfuss joked about the unfortunate timing and sequence of events on Twitter: “Happy New Year to everyone but People Magazine who killed Betty White by tempting fate,” he tweeted.

Students at Cypress High express their sadness for Betty White’s death, as she was an actress loved by many. Junior Rae Walker indicates that he felt “really sad, she was an icon,” when asked about their reaction upon hearing the unfortunate news. White’s death affects far more than just those who personally knew her; all of America is impacted by her loss. Her iconic personality and vibrant character will be missed, but the legacy of her success will forever live on.