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Golden Girls star Betty White dies, aged 99

The star would've turned 100 on 17 January

Betty White, known for her role as Rose Nylund in Golden Girls has passed away at the age of 99, just weeks before what would've been her 100th birthday.

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TMZ reports that the legendary actress died in the early hours of New Year's Eve, with law enforcement sources confirming the news to them. Betty started her career in the 1930s and was still working in the industry as recently as 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck. She rose to fame for her role as Elizabeth in Life with Elizabeth, and became the nation's sweetheart when she was one of the central characters in Golden Girls.

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The star was just weeks away from turning 100, and was preparing to mark her centenary when she passed away.

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In a heartbreaking tweet posted on 28 December, she wrote: "My 100th birthday… I cannot believe it is coming up, and People Magazine is celebrating with me! The new issue of @people is available on newsstands nationwide tomorrow."

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Betty was best known for her role on Golden Girls

In the interview with People, she spoke about how she remained healthy into her 90s, explaining: "I'm so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age."

She then joked: "I try to avoid anything green. I think it's working."

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Fans paid tribute to her on social media, with one writing: "Betty White was an icon, a legend, and consistently found a way to be the moment over her nearly 70 year career. A trailblazer. An original. And a truly kind soul. May she be forever surrounded by four-legged animals in heaven."

The star was getting ready for her 100th birthday

A second referenced Golden Girls as they wrote: "RIP Betty White. Thank you for being a friend…"

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Star Trek star George Takei said: "Our national treasure, Betty White, has passed just before her 100th birthday. 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."

And Ellen DeGeneres added: "What an exceptional life. I'm grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White. Sending love to her family, friends and all of us."

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