Celebrity tributes to Betty White: 'She pushed us all to laugh'

The 'Golden Girls' actress died aged 99 on December 31

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Tributes from actors and comedians are pouring in for Betty White. Stars have taken to social media to remember The Golden Girls actress, who died aged 99 on Friday.

White died a matter of weeks before her 100th birthday on January 17.

Henry Winkler thanked White for her humour, warmth and activism. Seth Meyers says White was the only Saturday Night Live host he ever saw get a standing ovation at the after-party. Kathy Griffin shared a few stories in a Twitter thread and wrote that White treated her like an equal in the comedy world, and Dan Rather said our world would be better if more people followed White’s example.

From former US first lady Michelle Obama to Ryan Reynolds, celebrities and public figures remember Betty White:

“It’s a shame. She was a lovely lady …. Ninety-nine years old. As my mother would say, God love her,” US President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday.

“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,” Ryan Reynolds wrote on Twitter. Reynolds and White co-starred in the 2009 film The Proposal.

“Too much sadness! I posted once how she changed my life. She was the first person who made me believe I could be a writer. What an enormous thing to do for another person. I bet there’s hundreds of us who she helped over the years,” wrote Nancy Meyers.

“Sad news. No more Betty White. Too bad we couldn’t get another ten years of her always warm, gracious, and witty personality. She was one of a kind,” Mel Brooks tweeted.

“Betty White: [It] is very hard to absorb you are not here any more ... But the memories of your deLIGHT are," wrote Henry Winkler on Twitter. "Thank you for your humor, your warmth and your activism … Rest now and say Hi to Bill.”

"Betty White broke barriers, defied expectations, served her country, and pushed us all to laugh," wrote the former US first lady Michelle Obama. "Barack and I join so many around the world who will miss the joy she brought to the world. I know our Bo is looking forward to seeing her up in heaven."

“Rest in peace, sweet Betty. My God, how bright heaven must be right now,” tweeted Valerie Bertinelli.

“RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after-party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hot dog and stayed till the bitter end,” recalled comedian Seth Meyers.

Comedian Kathy Griffin remembered White with a Twitter thread of anecdotes.

Griffin wrote: “Betty, who was gracious enough to be a guest star on the episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, where we get my mom Maggie a play date with Betty White, was a bucket list memory, touching and hilarious at the same time. We surprised Maggie, so when Betty shows up… at Sizzler Senior Early Bird Special, my Mom about fell OUT!

"And I got to spend the day on film and off camera, with my mom and Betty White. It was basically a dream girls day. Betty legit treated my mom like a friend. She answered every question, acted very shocked at…every word out of my mouth, which was mandatory. She hung out with my mom, like a peer. She treated me like we were in the same club or something.

"She actually treated me like an equal in the comedy gurrrl world. She was as sharp and funny as she was soft and wise … and no matter how long this world continues to spin, there will be only one Betty White.”

“Today, we lost a beloved TV icon. Betty White was a pioneering actress, who blessed generations of Americans with her talent and humour for eight decades. May it be a comfort to her loved ones and many admirers that so many mourn with them during this sad time,” wrote Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Twitter.

“Another brilliant talent has made her transition. I had the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her. May she rest in well-earned peace,” wrote singer Dionne Warwick.

“Betty White will go down in the history books as ageless ... 99 or 100, the numbers belie the fact that she lived the best life EVER! RIP Betty White,” deaf activist Marlee Matlin wrote on Twitter

“A spirit of goodness and hope. Betty White was much beloved because of who she was, and how she embraced a life well-lived. Her smile. Her sense of humour. Her basic decency. Our world would be better if more followed her example. It is diminished with her passing,” said American journalist Dan Rather.

“RIP to Betty White who was charming, delightful, hilarious, talented and unproblematic for 99.9 years,” wrote social commentator Roxane Gay on Twitter.

– Additional reporting by AP

Updated: January 01, 2022, 9:05 AM