Betty White, the last remaining Golden Girl, passed away on New Year’s Eve a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday. A timeless icon who brought joy to millions in over 80 years in show business including television.
White transcended time, with her comedic charm entertaining multiple generations. Ask any Black person born in the late 1970s or early 1980s about shows they watched with their grandmothers, and they might very well respond “The Golden Girls.” Running from 1985 to 1992, watching “The Golden Girls” was a ritual for many.
In her later years, White’s popularity took a new level as she took on roles defying the expectations of what an older woman should be or act like. For many people, she reminded them of their own grandmothers and great-aunts smart as a whip, cheeky and biting her tongue for no one.
Some social media users noted that the news of White’s passing triggered feelings about the loss of another legend Cicely Tyson. Tyson died at the beginning of the year. Ruthless and unforgiving, 2021 pulled no punches.
One way to honor and celebrate White is to remember the many ways she made us smile. Hulu announced earlier this month that it would stream “The Golden Girls” spinoff starring White and McClenahan “The Golden Palace” in honor of her birthday.
Back in 2012, former President Barack Obama struck pure comedic gold with a short skit wishing White a happy 90th birthday. Sitting in the Oval Office, President Obama writes a congratulatory note to White:
You look so fantastic and full of energy, I can’t believe you’re 90 years old. In fact, I don’t believe it. That’s why I’m writing to ask if you will be willing to produce a copy of your long-form birth certificate. Thanks. Happy birthday, no matter how old you are.
Shortly afterward, “The Golden Girls” theme song cuts on and the President is seen putting a framed picture of White on his desk and then gently rocking out to the theme music.
Check out the hilarious video below:
White visited the White House, meeting the president later that year. Despite joking that she might run for president, White endorsed Obama ahead of her visit.