Before the Golden Girls alum died on December 31, 2021, a one-night-only movie event titled Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration was scheduled to hit theaters on Monday, January 17, which would have been her 100th birthday.
“I’m going BIG for my birthday,” the comedian wrote via Instagram last year, announcing the film. “Right to the BIG SCREEN!”
The legendary TV star participated in the movie, which will take a look back at her storied Hollywood career and feature interviews from many of her friends and collaborators. According to the original press release, the film will also include a lost episode from her first sitcom and footage from her numerous screen projects over the years.
“Who doesn’t love a party?!?” White said in a statement when the special event was announced last year. “This one is gonna be great.”
As fans know all too well, however, the Emmy winner died just weeks before she could join the celebration.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent and close friend, Jeff Witjas, said in a statement after her death. “I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”
After news of her passing broke, tributes poured in from her admirers and former costars. Ryan Reynolds, who became friends with the actress when they starred in 2009’s The Proposal, honored White with a moving statement posted via social media.
“The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation,” he tweeted last month. “She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”
Sandra Bullock, who appeared alongside the duo in the same movie, said she planned to honor the late star with a drink on New Year’s Eve. “I don’t drink vodka … but I will tonight, on ice, with a slice of lemon with a hot dog on the other side and just be OK being sad,” the Oscar winner said in a statement. “I’ll have to buy some rose-colored glasses because Betty was that for all of us.”
Keep scrolling for more details about Betty White: A Celebration.