On what would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday, her assistant shared what she believes to be one of the last photos taken of the iconic comedian.
Betty’s assistant, Kiersten, posted a photo of the actor to Betty White’s verified Facebook page.
“On this special day, I wanted to share this photo of Betty. It was taken on 12/20/21. I believe it’s one of the last photos of her,” the caption read. “She was radiant and beautiful and as happy as ever. Thanks to all of you who are doing kind things today and every day to make the world a better place.”
Later on Monday, her assistant told TODAY that the day she took the photo, White was dressed up to record videos for her fans.
“It was the day we recorded some videos for her fans with regard to her birthday. She was excited to be ‘glammed’ up and to be able to record a message. Of course, it was about her birthday at the time,” Kiersten told TODAY in a text. “She wanted people to see that she was alive and happy and really wanted an opportunity to thank people for supporting her throughout her life and career. It was a truly special day. There was lots of laughing and excitement and talk about what kind of animals I was going to round up for her birthday.”
“The Golden Girls” star died on Dec. 31, 2021, at the age of 99. According to a copy of her death certificate, obtained by NBC News, listed White’s cause of death as a “cerebrovascular accident,” also known as a stroke. According to the certificate, White had suffered a stroke six days before her death.
“I was told that Betty passed in her sleep peacefully without pain,” Jeff Witjas, White’s agent and a close personal friend, told NBC News in a statement. “To me, this is the most important thing and brings me comfort as her friend. Anything else is private to Betty.”
In the wake of White’s death, fans encouraged others to honor the actor’s legacy by donating to animal welfare groups and rescue organizations — a cause near and dear to the late-actor’s heart. The actor received the National Humanitarian Medal from the American Humane organization, their highest honor, for her tireless dedication to improving the lives of animals.
“For nearly a century, Betty White has been a tireless and devoted animal welfare advocate and we are proud to have known her for 70 years — longer than any other supporter in our history,” Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO, said in a written statement. “Betty dedicated herself to protecting and improving the quality of life for animals worldwide. She has always been a one-of-a-kind phenomenon, and we are honored to have known and worked with her during so much of her truly remarkable life.”
Google also honored Betty White on her birthday. When users type her name into the search engine, a message appears, reading “Thank you for being a friend,” along with rose petals. Of course, the tribute honors White’s iconic role as Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls.”
In addition, 900 movie theaters nationwide held screenings of “Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration” in honor of the five-time Emmy Award winner. The event, put on by Fathom Events, was announced last month prior to her passing.
“We are thankful for the many decades of delight she brought to everyone. Betty always said she was the ‘luckiest broad on two feet’ to have had a career as long as she did,” producers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein wrote. “We will go forward with our plans to show the film on January 17 in hopes our film will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life — and experience what made her such a national treasure.”