First Lady of Television dies short of 100th birthday

Kaitlin Nguyen '24, Staff Reporter

On Dec. 31, 2021 Betty White, an inspirational American actress and comedian, died before making it to her 100th birthday. 

Betty White was a household name for many and was cast in multiple TV shows and movies. She was especially known for her character as Rose Nyland, in “The Golden Girls.” 

Jessalyn Bombita ’24 said, “My grandma and I would watch ‘The Golden Girls’ all the time and they are definitely special moments I share with her to this day.” 

As Betty White’s castings grew in numbers, so did her fame in the film industry. Her great sense of humor, wit, and positive energy she brought to every film she played made her an even more beloved individual. 

Betty White 1922-2021 (Art by Rizlin Jew ’22)

As well as being beloved by people, she had a special place in her heart for animals. She was devoted to many animal related non-profit organizations. This included making personal donations and volunteering at fundraisers to raise awareness and support for the organizations. 

She served on the board at the non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association, which she helped since 1974. With the love she had for the animals, people around social media started the #BettyWhiteChallenge to commemorate her 100th birthday. The cause was to encourage people to donate $5 or more to a local animal shelter. 

As a donor herself, drama teacher Valerie O’Riordan stated, “Betty White continues to be incredible, even as our guardian angel and the guardian for animals.” 

The challenge has raised a total of $12.7 million, according to Variety and is currently still raising more money.  

Betty White paved the way for advocating and inspiring young women in the acting world and the overall film industry.  She was the first woman to host a talk show and was considered to be the first woman to produce a sitcom.

Click the image to view a timeline of Betty White’s work

Many may notice that after her passing, her legacy and impact on the world is still being carried on. 

School receptionist Cara Garcia added, “I am amazed at the life that she lived and I felt like she is someone we can look to and can say that she lived 99 years and made such an impact to not only people my age, but people of all ages.”