By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Ryan Reynolds, Kathy Griffin and Reese Witherspoon are among the celebrity figures from around the globe who have paid tribute to “brilliant talent” Betty White following her death aged 99.
The award-winning actress, best known for starring as Rose in 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, has died less than a month before her 100th birthday.
She appeared in hit US sitcoms including Hot In Cleveland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show and Life With Elizabeth during a career spanning more than 80 years.
Reynolds, who starred alongside White in the 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal, shared a photo to Instagram of her smiling and giving the camera a thumbs-up.
He wrote in an emotional tribute: “The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation.
“She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”
Reynolds and White often joked about each other in the media and in an interview with People ahead of White’s upcoming 100th birthday on January 17th, she teased him about having a crush on her, saying: “I’ve heard Ryan can’t get over his thing for me but Robert Redford is The One.”
1) Betty White. Where do I begin? I’ve known her long, but I think the first time I met her was when she was a guest star on Suddenly Susan in the late 90s. Everyone was very excited she was on the show. I had accidentally parked in her parking spot that day. She walks in…
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 31, 2021
Comedian and actress Griffin recalled fond memories with White in a long post to social media where she revealed that the first time she met White was when the actress made an appearance on the sitcom Suddenly Susan in the late 1990s and Griffin received a joking jab from White for stealing her parking space.
She added: “She treated me like we were in the same club or something.
“She actually treated me like an equal in the comedy gurrrl world.
“She was as sharp and funny as she was soft and wise and no matter how long this world continues to spin, there will be only one Betty White.”
So sad to hear about Betty White passing. I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy. Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh! https://t.co/iOkmHLrW21
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) December 31, 2021
Legally Blonde star Witherspoon praised White for “making us all laugh” as she reshared an announcement for her death by Vanity Fair magazine, adding: “So sad to hear about Betty White passing.
“I loved watching her characters that brought so much joy.
“Thank you, Betty, for making us all laugh!”
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres said that White had led an “exceptional life” and that she was “grateful for every second” she got to spend with her.
What an exceptional life.
I’m grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White.
Sending love to her family, friends and all of us.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 31, 2021
American singer and TV presenter Dionne Warwick called her a “brilliant talent” and said she had “the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her”.
Another brilliant talent has made her transition. I had the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her. May she rest in well-earned peace. ❤️
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) December 31, 2021
Singer Nancy Sinatra revealed that she could not stop crying after the news of White’s death.
She added: “Godspeed, Betty White, you will be remembered and treasured forever.”
I can't stop crying. Godspeed, Betty White, you will be remembered and treasured forever.
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) December 31, 2021
During her career, she has written several books and has won five Primetime Emmy Awards out of 21 nominations, and a handful of other top accolades.
The screen veteran was also named the female entertainer with the longest television career by Guinness World Records, having started out in 1939.