‘Golden Girls’ Star Betty White on Her Upbeat Nature: ‘Born a Cockeyed Optimist’

by Maggie Schneider

“Golden Girls” star Betty White opens up about her unique brand of optimism. The nearly 100-year old star lives a happy life.

Betty White will celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17! To celebrate, the “Golden Girls” star sat down with PEOPLE for an exclusive interview.

Betty White considers herself “born a cockeyed optimist.” She believes that this glass-half-full approach to life is what keeps her healthy and happy.

“I got it from my mom, and that never changed,” White says. “I always find the positive.”

Her agent and friend, Jeff Witjas, sees White’s optimism every day. “Betty lives a life of happiness,” Witjas begins. “She always thinks of others first, and she stays positive no matter what, even when I beat her at our favorite game of gin rummy!”

The “Golden Girls” star feels fortunate to be in such good health after all of these years.

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

Betty White’s Friends Give a Toast

“Golden Girls” star Betty White is the cover story of People Magazine’s latest issue. Friends of the actress got in on the fun as well, speaking out about White’s amazing talent and personality.

“She’d come on my show, [The Carol Burnett Show], and if there was a tinge of risqué humor in one of our sketches, she’d roll with it and make it even funnier and add a little wink to show that she was thinking of something sexy,” Carol Burnett says. “She’s not a stand-up. She’s not a jokester. It’s the way she can twist a line to get a laugh.”

Sandra Bullock is in awe of Betty White’s comedic timing. She saw her comedy chops first-hand on set of The Proposal. “Timing isn’t easy in comedy, because you have to navigate other people’s timing. Betty pivots like I have never seen, making it look seamless,” she says. “The rest of us just remain silent and pray we’re not cut out of the scene.”

Another cast member of The Proposal speaks out about Betty White’s greatness. The actor is Ryan Reynolds himself. “I heard that scripts for Golden Girls were only 35 pages, which makes sense because so many of the laughs come from Betty simply looking at her castmates,” he says.

All of Betty White’s friends wish her a wonderful centennial birthday. Sandra Bullock hopes that she embraces the day “the same way she has celebrated every day of her life with humor, kindness and a vodka on ice, toasting to the fact that she’s a badass who has left us all in the dust.”

Now that is one hell of a birthday wish.