Beloved Hollywood icon Betty White died from “natural causes,” her agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed in a statement to the Associated Press on Monday (January 3), denying false reports that White had died after receiving a booster shot on December 28, just three days prior to her death.
“Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home. People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true,” Witjas said in a statement to the Associated Press. “She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived.”
The rumor stemmed from a fabricated quote in which White was reported to have told a news outlet, “Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today.”
On Friday (December 31), Witjas initially confirmed White’s death in a statement issued to PEOPLE Magazine on Friday.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas. “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.”
“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” White said during the recent interview. “It’s amazing.”
“Our hearts mourn today with the passing of Betty White. During the many years we worked with her, we developed a great love and admiration for Betty as a person, and as an accomplished entertainer,” the producers said. “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. And honestly, we were the lucky ones to have had her for so long.
The upcoming birthday special is scheduled to include appearances by Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Craig Feguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Valerie Bertinelli, James Corden, Wendie Malick and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
White’s legendary entertainment career spanned 80 years, which included notable television roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls, and, more recently, Hot in Cleveland, among numerous others.
The multiple-time Emmy Award winner’s last credited acting role came in the 2019 television short series, Forky Asks A Question, where she revived her character Bitey White from the film Toy Story 4.