Friends, former colleagues and celebrity admirers remembered Betty White on Friday after news spread of her death earlier in the day at age 99.
Tributes poured in across social media, including from Ryan Reynolds, who co-starred with Sandra Bullock and White in The Proposal (2009).
“The world looks a little different now. She was great at defying expectations. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret,” Reynolds captioned a photo of White on Instagram as she made a thumbs up gesture.
Other celebrities including Viola Davis, Dionne Warwick, Reese Witherspoon and Bravo host Andy Cohen also shared their condolences on social media.
Davis tweeted: “RIP Betty White! Man did I think you would live forever. You blew a huge hole in this world that will inspire generations. Rest in glorious peace…you’ve earned your wings.”
Warwick wrote on Twitter: “Another brilliant talent has made her transition. I had the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her. May she rest in well-earned peace.”
Witherspoon tweeted: “So sad to hear about Betty White passing. I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!”
Cohen added: “Tonight we will raise MANY glasses to the WONDERFUL legacy of Betty White!!!”
Meanwhile, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center reminded its Twitter followers that White helped fight for more opportunities for Black performers in Hollywood.
“In 1954, Betty White was criticized after having Arthur Duncan, a Black tap dancer, on her show. Her response: ‘I’m sorry. Live with it.’ She then gave Duncan even more airtime. The show was canceled soon after. Rest well, Betty,” the MLK Center tweeted.
White’s death came two weeks before her 100 birthday, and Fathom Events was planning a theatrical birthday tribute titled ‘Betty White: 100 Years Young – a Birthday Celebration.’ The film will showcase key moments in White’s career including scenes from The Golden Girls, hosting SNL, Hot in Cleveland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show — and a lost episode from Betty’s very first sitcom.
The producers of the celebration released a statement on their website Friday, saying the show would still go on.
“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 statement began. “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.”
White’s career spanned decades playing lovable and witty characters. She was also a revered animal lover and tireless supporter of the Los Angeles Zoo, where she spent her 90th birthday.