Betty White

Oak Park Native Betty White Dies at Age 99, Days Before 100th Birthday

Betty White

Beloved American icon and comedian Betty White, native of suburban Oak Park, has died at age 99, just days before her 100th birthday, according to reports.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," White's agent Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE in a statement on Friday. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again." 

In honor of the Emmy award-winning actress, a petition was previously started to push Oak Park City Council to make her birthday, Jan. 17, "Betty White Day" in the Chicago suburb.

The actress has graced televisions across the nation since the 1940s with some of her most notable roles in shows like "Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." In 2018, the documentary "Betty White: First Lady of Television" aired on the star's life and career.

Her comedic work, which has rendered years of praise from fellow actors, has earned her five Primetime Emmys, a Daytime Emmy and a Grammy Award.

In a cover story for PEOPLE Magazine, which will be released the week of Jan. 10, the actor revealed her secret to living a long, fulfilling life. 

“I try to avoid anything green,” she said. “I guess it’s working.”

On a slightly more serious note, White offered some advice to living a joyful life: “Taste every moment.”

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