The news of Betty White’s passing just 17 days shy of what would have been her 100th birthday prompted a flood of heartfelt responses from Hollywood as 2021 came to a close. Everyone from co-stars to famous fans shared their warm memories of the icon, who maintained a career in entertainment for over 80 years, setting a record for longest career for a female entertainer in the process. During those decades, she touched multiple generations with her undeniably charming presence, perfect comedic timing, and kind nature.
Her The Proposal co-star Ryan Reynolds shared a photo of White giving two thumbs up on his Instagram, writing, “The world looks a little different now. She was great at defying expectations. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”
Steve Martin tweeted about meeting White and her husband Allen Ludden during his early days on the road, when he performed as an opening act for singer Linda Ronstadt. “I loved Betty White,” he wrote, “so I went up to them: ‘I’m so honored to meet you both.’ And then I said, ‘Isn’t Linda great?’ She said, ‘We came to see you.’ I said, ‘Why?’ ‘Because we heard you were funny.’ I was elated.”
Debra Messing, Dionne Warwick, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Meyers, Marlee Matlin, and Viola Davis are just another handful of the many stars who posted reactions to her death, sharing their admiration and love for the legendary White.
Davis perhaps summed up many people’s thoughts from the world of entertainment and beyond. “Man did I think you would live forever,” she wrote. “You blew a huge hole in this world that will inspire generations. Rest in glorious peace….you’ve earned your wings.”
Fellow comedy legend and longtime friend Carol Burnett shared a short, poignant statement on Twitter. “I loved Betty very, very much. The world has lost one in a million.”
Mel Brooks wrote, “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!”
To say that White will be missed by her countless fans is an understatement. Yet the well-earned outpouring of love and adoration for the now departed legend is certainly appropriate for someone who kept everyone smiling for so long.