Hollywood legend Betty White passed away on New Year’s Eve, just a few weeks before her 100th birthday. The news shocked fans across the world, especially since she seemed to be in good health for her age. However, just six days before she passed away, White suffered a stroke that went unreported until now.
On Monday, TMZ obtained Betty White’s death certificate, which listed a cerebrovascular accident as the cause of death. The Golden Girls star suffered a stroke a week prior to her death but seemed to be doing alright after the incident. A stroke can cause physical disabilities and brain damage that can impact one’s speech. Yet sources told TMZ that White was “alert and coherent” after her stroke.
Another source close to Betty White spoke with People recently. The insider admitted to the outlet that the famous actress had a “mild stroke.” The source also shared that White “died peacefully in her sleep” at her home.
At 99 years old, Betty White’s death stunned even her closest of friends who thought she would be with us forever. Her longtime agent Jeff Witjas spoke with the Associated Press following her passing. Witjas shared that White did not suffer from any diagnosed illness that he knew of.
“I truly never thought she was going to pass away,” Witjas said to the AP. “She meant the world to me as a friend. She was the most positive person I’ve ever known.”
White missed out on making it to 100 by only 17 days since her birthday is one week from today on January 17. In fact, the beloved actress had recently filmed a celebratory 100th birthday movie special. Betty White: 100 Years Young will still release on her birthday next week, producers announced after her death.
Betty White’s Funeral Plans Announced
Last week, People caught up with Betty White’s longtime agent Jeff Witjas who shared his friend’s final wishes along with funeral plans for the star. Her friend and agent shared that White will be laid to rest in a private ceremony. But as of Jan. 5, the details hadn’t been ironed out yet.
“The arrangements are being handled privately and that was Betty’s wish,” Witjas said to People. “As in life, she never wanted people to make a fuss over her.”
White was well-known for her love of animals and was passionate about animal rights and advocacy. During the interview with Witjas, her agent suggested that fans honor Betty White’s life by donating to her favorite charities. They included The Los Angeles Zoo, Tree People; Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wildlife Learning Center, Actor and Animals for Others, The Aquarium of the Pacific, and Guide Dogs For the Blind.
“If someone has a desire to do something in her honor, you can support or donate to one or more of her favorite charities,” Witjas shared. “Or even donate to a local animal charity of your choice.”