Alan Alda called Betty White a national treasure who left us too soon. He’s right. The M*A*S*H star added his name to the growing list of people bemoaning the loss of that national treasure. White died on New Year’s Eve, less than three weeks from her 100th birthday.
“Betty White left us just short of her 100th birthday. An exit that still came too soon. We weren’t finished loving her,” he tweeted Sunday.
White’s estate didn’t release a cause of death. But considering her near inexhaustible exuberance and zeal for life, one can only assume that she died wrestling a bear or jumping out of an airplane without a parachute for fun.
Alda included in his tweet a link to his conversation with White for his podcast, Clear+Vivid. They recorded the discussion just after her 98th birthday. The iconic actors talked about their careers, their love of animals, and how they maintain a positive outlook on life.
Condolences for Betty White flooded Twitter after her death, and they came from everywhere. Politicians like President Joe Biden; actors and actresses such as Bob Newhart, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Maureen McCormick; Dolly Parton and many other musicians; and even the U.S. Army all paid respects to the Golden Girls star.
Robert Redford offered up his condolences as well. The two never met, but White nursed a healthy and public crush on the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid star for decades. White’s true love, her late husband Allen Ludden, died in 1981.
“She made us all laugh, including me,” he told People magazine.
White’s assistant revealed recently that the Hot in Cleveland kept a life-sized cutout of Redford in her office. A friend sent it to her as a 99th birthday gift. White made sure to greet it with a “Hi, sweetheart” whenever she walked into the building.
Ryan Reynolds: ‘The World Looks Different’ Without Betty White
Ryan Reynolds worked with Betty White in 2009’s The Proposal. Since then, they’ve maintained a long-running joke that they dated during filming. People published an article about their ongoing public infatuation a few days before she died.
White joked that the Deadpool star “can’t get over” her despite her love for another.
“I’ve heard Ryan can’t get over his thing for me,” she told the magazine, “but Robert Redford is The One.”
Reynolds fired back, saying her friend was a “typical Capricorn.”
“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 said, adding Betty White is “a typical Capricorn. Sleeps all day. Out all night boozing and snacking on men.”
The two kept up the back-and-forth until White’s death on Saturday. Reynolds paid homage to his friend after he learned the news.
“The world looks different now,” he tweeted. “She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”