Actress Betty White dies just shy of 100th birthday

Actress Betty White, whose more than 80-year career included Emmy-winning roles on TV comedies "The Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," died Friday less than three weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

Her death was first reported by People magazine.

In a youth-driven entertainment industry, White was an anomaly as a star in her 60s and a pop culture phenomenon in her 80s and 90s.

Playing on her imminent likability, she was still starring in a TV sitcom, "Hot in Cleveland," at age 92 until its cancellation in 2014.

White said her longevity was a result of good health, good fortune, loving her work – and honesty.

“I've never tried to pretend to be somebody I'm not. You play roles, of course, as an actress, but as far as with the game shows or the talk shows, if you try to be somebody you're not, the audience will pick up on you like that; you can't fool them.”

Her ability to get laughs was always at her fingertips – like in 2012 when she unveiled her wax figure at Madame Tussauds.

[Turning to figure, snapping her fingers] “Honey, snap out of it!”

White, who had no children, was passionate about animals and a champion for them in her charity work.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll in 2011 found that White, then 89, was the most popular and trusted celebrity in America.

In a statement to People magazine, her agent said (quote), "Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever."

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