White died just weeks before her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. She had big plans to celebrate the milestone, including the upcoming film “100 Years Young,” a nearly 2-hour film about her with cameos from White’s friends including Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Jimmy Kimmel and others.
Reynolds took to Instagram to remember White, whom he starred alongside in “The Proposal.”
“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,” Reynolds wrote.
Niecy Nash, who also starred alongside White in “The Proposal,” shared a selfie with the late “legend.”
“Funny until the end! We were in the movie The Proposal together and worked on neighboring stages when she filmed Hot In Cleveland and I was on The Soul Man. I would be lucky to have a career this long and still have comedic timing! Make em laugh in heaven Betty! You will be missed. Thank YOU for being a friend #rip,” Nash wrote on Instagram.
GLAAD also recognized White for her contributions beyond television in a statement to USA TODAY.
“Betty White was an icon in the entertainment industry and a true ‘friend’ to the LGBTQ community. Her character Rose on The Golden Girls was instrumental in drawing mainstream attention to LGBTQ issues on television, namely an episode that raised awareness about HIV in 1990. Throughout the rest of her career, White used her platform to advocate for many issues affecting the LGBTQ community, including marriage equality and supporting at-risk queer youth,” wrote GLAAD’s Head of Talent Anthony Allen Ramos.
Comedian Billy Eichner wrote that White’s show “The Golden Girls” is “without exaggeration, the greatest TV series of all time. I am genuinely grateful for them and for that show.”
George Takei called White a national treasure, tweeting, “Our Sue Ann Nivens, our beloved Rose Nylund, has joined the heavens to delight the stars with her inimitable style, humor, and charm. A great loss to us all. We shall miss her dearly.”
In a thread on Twitter, Kathy Griffin looked back at her personal interactions with the actress, writing that “no matter how long this world continues to spin, there will be only one Betty White.”
William Shatner tweeted how White was “a sweetheart to the world and a gift to the entertainment world.”
Debra Messing was nostalgic and echoed many fans’ feelings with her tweet: “Betty White. Oh oooooooo. I grew up watching and being delighted by her. She was playful and daring and smart. We all knew this day would come but it doesn’t take away the feeling of loss. A national treasure, indeed. Fly with the Angels.”
Daniel Dae Kim added: “2020: ‘I’m gonna make this the worst year ever.’ 2021: ‘Hold my beer…’ #RIPQueen.”
“Sending her family and friends love,” Arquette continued. “Great loss.
Seth Meyers honored White by recalling a special moment with the fellow comedian.
“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 hotdog and stayed til the bitter end,” he tweeted.
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that she’s “grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White. Sending love to her family, friends and all of us.”
Dionne Warwick recalled having “the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and (sharing) a few giggles with her.”
“Another brilliant talent has made her transition,” Warwick continued. “May she rest in well-earned peace.”
“So sad to hear about Betty White passing. I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!” Reese Witherspoon wrote.
Journalist Nina Garcia reacted to the news by sharing one of White’s memorable quotes.
” ‘It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.’ RIP Betty White,” Garcia shared.
Halsey posted a short yet impactful message: “Betty :(“
“99 years here and millions of laughs left behind. Pretty fantastic,” Ava DuVernay posted in her tribute.
Halle Berry recognized White for being both a legendary actress and “a friend.”
“Your INCREDIBLE legacy lives on forever,” Berry tweeted. “You set the standard for so many to follow. May you rest in eternal peace our forever golden girl.”
Contributing: Mary Cadden, Erin Jensen, Jenna Ryu