Golden Girls star and sitcom legend Betty White dies at 99

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Betty White, the first lady of American television, died today at the age of 99, TMZ reports. His death, apparently of natural causes, came just weeks before his 100th birthday, which was to be celebrated by a star-studded cast of his collaborators, fans and admirers in a documentary (Betty White: 100 years young) and television special.

White’s long and storied television career began in the 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that her star really began to shine, thanks to the quick wit she showed in both game shows. (like Password) and talk shows (like The show tonight). However, it wasn’t until she landed a recurring role in The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973 that his career really took off. She won back-to-back Emmys in 1975, 1976, and 1977 for her role as Sue Ann Nivens, a time when she made the leap from beloved TV presence to beloved award-winning comedian.

She went on to earn seven consecutive Emmy nominations from 1986 to 1991, winning one, for her portrayal of sweet but oh-so-dim Rose Nylund on NBC’s massive hit, The golden girls. Three more Emmy wins and 9 more Emmy nominations would follow the rest of her unparalleled acting career, leaving her with 5 Emmy wins from 21 nominations, spanning from the years 1951 to 2014. (Only five other actresses – Alison Janney, Tyne Daly , Mary Tyler Moore, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Cloris Leachman — have more Emmy wins in Lifetime.)

White’s longevity in show business – she had worked steadily for 10 DECADES – is staggering, and the renewed cultural relevance of The golden girls since landing on Hulu in 2017 proves Betty White’s star will always shine bright. For more on Betty’s storied career, watch Betty White: First Lady of Television, currently stream on netflix.

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look Betty White: First Lady of Television on Netflix

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