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Betty White's greatest quotes to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday

The 'Golden Girls' star passed away on Dec. 31 at age 99

betty white
Zachary Harper
Zachary HarperDigital Director for Hello! CanadaToronto
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Jan. 17, 2022 would have been Betty White's 100th birthday. 

Sadly, the star best known for her roles on The Golden Girls and The Mary Tyler Moore Show passed away on Dec. 31 at age 99, prompting an outpouring of love, remembrance and tributes across Hollywood. 

RELATED: 'Golden Girls' star Betty White dies at age 99

Betty White with her Golden Girls co stars

Betty with her Golden Girls co-stars Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty), Bea Arthur (Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak) and Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux). Photo: © Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

We were blessed with so much humour and acting from Betty, whose career launched in the '30s and saw her hosting her own variety show by the time the '50s came around. She later branched out into game shows and talk shows such as Johnny Carson's Tonight Show period before landing her role as Sue-Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973. By the '80s, she captivated audiences as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls. She won two Emmys for the former role and one for the latter. 

Betty White with her 1976 Emmy

Betty with her Emmy for her role on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1976. Photo: © Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Throughout her career, she had several trailblazing firsts, too. She was the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983, back when she helmed Just Men!. And when she picked up her 2010 SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, she was incredibly humble. 

Betty White with Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock presented Betty with her Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 SAG Awards. Photo: © John Shearer/WireImage

"Have you seen the other ones who have gotten this award?" She said while making her acceptance speech, referring to the likes of Julie Andrews, Shirley Temple, Ed Asner, Sidney Poitier, Kirk Douglas, Elizabeth Taylor and many others. "I don't belong." 

She did belong, though, and her incredible eight decades of work meant she Guinness World Record for longest career for a woman in television twice, in 2014 and 2018. And of course, it also means she had plenty to say and so much wisdom to impart! 

We've gathered some of our favourite Betty White quotes through the years to celebrate what would have been her centenary. They're full of kindness, humour, humility and much more. 

Happy Birthday, Betty! 

Betty White in 1956

Betty in 1956. Photo: © Hulton Archive/Getty Images

On happiness

"Don't try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things that I won't live long enough to find out about, but I'm still curious about them."

"Everybody needs a passion. That's what keeps life interesting. If you live without passing, you can go through life without leaving any footprints."

"I know unless I'm true to myself, I couldn't be happy. Too much emphasis is placed today on externals and too little on character." 

"I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside. I get bored with people who complain about this or that. It's such a waste of time." 

Betty White in 2015

Betty celebrating her 93rd birthday on the set of Hot in Cleveland in 2015. Photo: © Mark Davis/Getty Images for TV Land

On being older in Hollywood

"Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren't going to get rid of me that way."

"I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet." 

"You're never too old for anything."

Betty White with her Madame Tussauds wax figure

Betty with her Madame Tussauds wax figure in Hollywood in 2012. Photo: © David Livingston/Getty Images

On humour

"Laughter keeps everyone feeling wonderful."

Betty White with her dog Stormy

Betty with her dog Stormy at home in 1954. Photo: © Elmer Holloway/NBC/NBCU Photo Ban

On kindness

"You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal."

"Keep the other person's well being in mind when you feel an attack of soul-purging truth coming on."

"Kindness and consideration of somebody besides yourself keeps you feeling young." 

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