12:32 PM PT — The beginnings of a makeshift memorial outside Betty’s house are underway.
One fan has already stopped by to place flowers under a tree at the gate, and pay their respects.
11:44 AM PT — A source close to Betty tells TMZ … she didn’t have any sudden illness, nor was she battling any particular ailment. We’re told she’s believed to have died from natural causes.
Emergency responders, including police, showed up at her home Friday morning as a standard procedure. As we told you back in 2020, Betty rarely left her home once the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Beloved actress, comedian and American icon Betty White has died, just weeks before a milestone birthday … TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ … Betty passed away at her home just before 9:30 AM Friday.
A trailblazer and pioneer in media, Betty had the longest running career for any woman in TV prior to her death — starring in multiple shows over the past 8 decades, starting way back in 1939.
Betty is perhaps most famous for her lead role as Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls,” which ran from 1985 to 1992. She’d been in TONS of other big hits throughout her life though.
Betty got her start in radio in the ’40s, making appearances on “Blondie,” “The Great Gildersleeve,” and “This is Your FBI.” She eventually got her own radio program. In 1949, she began working on a TV variety show with Al Jarvis called “Hollywood on Television” — which she later co-hosted — before breaking out into more TV roles.
Her breakout comedic role came in 1973 when she played Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” … which ran until 1977, and then she got her starring role in “The Betty White Show.”
With 115 acting credits to her name, Betty had roles in productions like “Life with Elizabeth,” “Date with the Angels,” “The Love Boat,” “Mama’s Family,” “The Golden Palace,” “Ladies Man,” “That ’70s Show,” “Higglytown Heroes,” “Boston Legal,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Pound Puppies,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and many, many, many other shows and films.
Betty won 5 Primetime Emmy Awards — including 2 for ‘Mary Tyler Moore,’ 1 for “Golden Girls” and 1 for her 1975 ‘SNL’ appearance — along with Screen Actors Guild Awards, American Comedy Awards and even a 2012 Grammy.
She’s been nominated for several Golden Globes and has also been honored with lots of Lifetime Achievement Awards and celebrations through several organizations.
Betty had just made headlines this week when she told People, “I’ve heard Ryan [Reynolds] can’t get over his thing for me” — they co-starred in the 2009 movie, “The Proposal.”
Ryan jokingly responded on Twitter … “I’m absolutely sick of the media exploiting past relationships just to drive clicks.”
The last time we got Betty on camera, she was teasing the launch of her Facebook page back in 2012.
As we’ve reported … Betty had been extra cautious during the pandemic, mostly chilling at home and passing the time by reading, watching TV and doing crossword puzzles.
Betty was 99 and she would have celebrated her 100th birthday on January 17.