The show honoring the 100th birthday of beloved Hollywood icon Betty White will go on, even after news of her passing on Friday (December 31).
Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration will air as originally planned, the event’s producers, Steven Boettcher and Mike Trinklein confirmed to the New York Post.
“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.
White was featured in a PEOPLE Magazine cover story this week ahead of her what would have been her 100th birthday on January 17.
“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.”
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 close friend and agent Jeff Witjas 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.”
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.