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Betty White, TV’s Perennial Golden Girl, Has Died At The Age Of 99

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“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Betty White’s agent and close friend Jeff Witjas tells PEOPLE in a statement. Biden leads tributes for Golden Girls actress. White’s film and TV career spanned eight-decades.

Calling her a “lovely lady”, Mr Biden told reporters: “99 years old – as my mother would say, God love her!”

Tributes also poured in from people in the entertainment industry including Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds.

“The world looks very different now,” tweeted Reynolds about his co-star in the 2009 film The Proposal and the woman whom he jokingly referred to in media interviews as his “ex-girlfriend”.

Betty White

“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent and close friend 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.”

Witjas adds, “Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home early this morning.”

White was gearing up to celebrate her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. Ahead of her centennial year, in a cover story, White opened up to PEOPLE about how she was feeling about turning 100 years old.

“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” said the veteran actress. “It’s amazing.”

According to White, being “born a cockeyed optimist” was the key to her upbeat nature. “I got it from my mom, and that never changed,” she said. “I always find the positive.”

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