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Hollywood honors legendary star Betty White | Celebrity News | Show biz & TV

Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey led the honors for the award-winning American actress who died on New Years Eve, just under three weeks before her 100th birthday on January 17.

Her Hollywood Walk of Fame star was surrounded by flowers and heartbroken fan memories yesterday.

Best known for playing Rose on the 1980s hit sitcom The Golden Girls, White enjoyed a groundbreaking career in show business spanning eight decades.

She has appeared on a series of leading American sitcoms, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show and most recently Hot In Cleveland.

Although she is often portrayed as a petite blonde or a sweet old lady, she was a smart operator and one of the first women in entertainment to take control of her career.

Former first lady Michelle Obama, 57, who shared a birthday with the icon, said White had “broken down barriers” and would be missed by people around the world. Posting a photo of the actress with the late Obamas dog Bo, she wrote: “Betty White broke barriers, defied expectations, served her country and made us all laugh.

“Barack and I join with so many around the world who will miss the joy she brought to the world.

“I know Bo can’t wait to see her in Heaven.”

Dolly Parton said: “Betty will live forever, not only in this world but in the world after. I will always love her. We will all love her!”

And US President Joe Biden tweeted: “Betty White brought smiles to generations of Americans.”

Chat Show Queen Oprah Winfrey thanked White for her life and work. Sharing a photo of the couple together, Winfrey said she was “celebrating your love’s 99th birthday on the planet. Thank you Betty White.”

White was one of the first women to have creative control in front of and behind the camera with her 1950s sitcom Life With Elizabeth.

Born in Illinois, she grew up in Los Angeles and got her first TV job in 1939. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s she was a regular on game shows and talk shows.

She has made numerous appearances on the Password game show. Host Allen Ludden has become her third and final husband.

In 1973, she was cast as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, playing a blonde TV host with a vicious, nymphomaniac streak.

The script described Sue Ann as “an incredibly sweet type of Betty White,” and White recalled that when they “didn’t find anyone sick enough,” they put her in the role. She won two Emmy Awards for the role.

A new generation has grown to love her as Rose Nylund in The Golden Girls, a sitcom about a group of retired women sharing a home in Miami, Florida.

Starring Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show with its theme song “Thank You For Being a Friend” and take on everything from sex to death became a worldwide hit.

White summed up the show’s appeal by saying, “I think we were really funny.”

Such was her longevity on television, White’s last sitcom, Hot in Cleveland, ended at the age of 93.

During her career, she has written several books and won five Primetime Emmy Awards.

She also holds the world record for longest television career.

Last night, the producers of a documentary about his career said that a screening of the film on what would have been his 100th birthday will still be held.

The film includes interviews with stars such as Ryan Reynolds and Robert Redford speaking about the veteran actress.