Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, whether as a man-crazy TV hostess on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” or the loopy housemate on “The Golden Girls,” has died. She was 99.
People and the Washington Post reported White’s death.
She launched her TV career in daytime talk shows when the medium was still in its infancy and endured well into the age of cable and streaming. Her combination of sweetness and edginess gave life to a roster of quirky characters in shows from the sitcom “Life With Elizabeth” in the early 1950s to oddball Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls” in the ’80s to “Boston Legal,” which ran from 2004 to 2008.
But it was in 2010 that White’s stardom erupted as never before.
In a Snickers commercial that premiered during that year’s Super Bowl telecast, she impersonated an energy-sapped dude getting tackled during a backlot football game.
“Mike, you’re playing like Betty White out there,” jeered one of his chums. White, flat on the ground and covered in mud, fired back, “That’s not what your girlfriend said!”
The instantly-viral video helped spark a Facebook campaign called “Betty White to Host SNL (please?)!,” whose half-million fans led to her co-hosting “Saturday Night Live” in a much-watched, watch-hailed edition that Mother’s Day weekend. The appearance won her a seventh Emmy award.
A month later, cable’s TV Land premiered “Hot In Cleveland,” the network’s first original scripted series, which starred Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick as three past-their-prime show-biz veterans who move to Cleveland to escape the youth obsession of Hollywood. They move into a home being looked after by an elderly Polish widow — a character, played by White, who was meant to appear only in the pilot episode.
But White stole the show, and the salty Elka Ostrovsky became a key part of the series, an immediate hit. She was voted the Entertainer of the Year by members of The Associated Press.
“It’s ridiculous,” White said of the honor. “They haven’t caught on to me, and I hope they never do.”
By then, White had not only become the hippest star around, but also a role model for how to grow old joyously.
Here are two recent interviews anticipating White's 100th birthday. White would have turned 100 on Jan. 17.
Photos: Remembering Betty White (1922-2021)
Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White, who love to play games, continue a two year gin rummy battle in which she's ahead by a cumulative 6,000 points in Westchester, N.Y. on April 29, 1965. They do it professionally on TV. He's the master of ceremonies on "Password," and she makes frequent guest appearances on game shows. They play games to relax at home. (AP Photo/Bob Wands)
Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White admire magnolia blossoms on the lawn of their country home in Westchester, N.Y. on May 14, 1965. (AP Photo/Bob Wands)
Actress Betty White in 1965. (AP Photo)
Betty White shares a moment backstage at the 28th annual Emmy Awards with Ted Knight after they each won an Emmy for their supporting roles in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." On the series Miss White played Sue Ann Nivens while Knight played newscaster Ted Baxter. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 17, 1976: (L-R) "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" co-stars - Ed Asner, Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Knight - all won awards at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 28th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Shubert Theatre on May 17, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by TVA/PictureGroup/Invision for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images)
Actress Betty White with Ted Knight at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Sept. 13, 1981. (AP Photo/Randy Rasmussen)
Betty White and Anson Williams don't seem to faze Buckeye, a St. Bernard, during an awards ceremony during which Williams was honored by the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as a friend and lover of animals. Ms. White presented a humanitarian plaque to Williams at the event, which was held in Hollywood, California, Friday, May 1, 1982. (AP Photo/Marc Karody)
Actress Betty White with actor John Hillerman arriving at Emmy Awards, Sept. 22, 1985 in Pasadena, California. (AP Photo/LIU)
Actresses Betty White Ludden, left, and Mary Tyler Moore, right, smile at each other in Los Angeles, Friday, June 22, 1985 during Annual Meeting of Morris Animal Foundation, at which Ludden announced her retirement as President of the animal health group, held at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
These four veteran actresses from the television series "The Golden Girls" shown during a break in taping Dec. 25, 1985 in Hollywood. From left are, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Betty White. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Actress Betty White poses in Los Angeles, Ca. in June, 1986. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Betty White stands backstage at the NBC TV Bob Hope "I Love Lucy" special on Sept. 16, 1989. (AP Photo/Djansezian)
Michael J. Fox and Betty White, winners of Emmys for best actor and actress in a comedy series, stand backstage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, Sunday, Sept. 21, 1986 after receiving their honors. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Comedienne Betty White places her hand on the star that was presented posthumously to her husband, Allen Ludden, during ceremonies inducting him into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Thursday, March 31, 1988. Ludden was honored with the 1,868th star of the famed walkway — between those of White and Tyrone Power. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Estelle Getty, who plays Sophia, poses with her new husband, who plays Max, and the other "Golden Girls" after taping of episode on Friday, night, Nov. 5,1988 in Hollywood. Left to right are Rue McCLanahan (Blanche), Getty, Gilford, Bea Arthur (Dorothy) and Betty White. (AP Photo/Ira Mark Gostin)
Former cast members of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, sans Mary Tyler Moore, are reunited for the Museum of Television and Radio's 9th annual Television Festival in Los Angeles Saturday, March 21, 1992. From left are Gavin MacLeod, Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman, Betty White and Ed Asner. (AP Photo/Craig Fujii)
Actress Betty White, left, writer/producer David E. Kelley, actress Bridget Fonda, and actor Oliver Platt pose at the premiere of their movie "Lake Placid," Wednesday night, July 14, 1999, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Betty White, from "Golden Girls," and Mr. T, Lawrence Tureaud, from "The A Team," pose for photographers at NBC's 75th Anniversary Party, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2002, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rene Macura)
Actors Betty White, left, Georgia Engel, second left, Gavin MacLeod, center, Valerie Harper, second right, and John Amos pose for photographers during arrivals at CBS's 75th anniversary celebration Sunday, Nov. 2, 2003, in New York. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
Actress Betty White laughs as an African eagle roosts overhead at the Los Angeles Zoo Monday, Feb. 20, 2006, in Los Angeles, where White was honored as Ambassador to the Animals by the city for her decades of dedication to the humane treatment of animals. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Betty White poses for photographers on the red carpet before Comedy Central's "Roast of William Shatner," Sunday, Aug. 13, 2006, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Rene Macura)
Betty White arrives at the 34th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, on Friday, June 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Beatrice Arthur, left, Betty White, center, and Rue McClanahan, of the Golden Girls, arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actor Henry Winkler, center, is seen Beatrice Arthur, right, and Betty White at the TV Land Awards on Sunday June 8, 2008 in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
In this Nov. 24, 2009 file photo, actress Betty White poses for a portrait following her appearance on the television talk show "In the House," in Burbank, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Actress Betty White poses for a portrait on the set of the television show "Hot in Cleveland" in Studio City section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actress Betty White is seen on stage at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Betty White, a cast member in "You Again," poses with fans holding Betty White masks at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actress Betty White wears a U.S. Forest Ranger hat after being named an Honorary Forest Ranger by the US Forest Service, at the Kennedy Center in Washington Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. White has stated in numerous interviews that her first ambition as a young girl was "to become a forest ranger, but they didn't allow women to do that back then". (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Betty White, left, Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson arrive at the MTV Movie Awards in Universal City, Calif., on Sunday, June 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Betty White, left, Kristen Bell, center, and Jamie Lee Curtis, cast members in "You Again," pose together at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Betty White, left, accepts the Life Achievement Award from Sandra Bullock at the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
From left, actresses Betty White, Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, and Jane Leeves pose for a portrait on the set of the television show "Hot in Cleveland" in Studio City section of Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Alec Baldwin, left, and Betty White are seen on stage at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Betty White attends a book signing for her book 'If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't)' at Barnes & Noble in New York, Friday, May 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Actress Betty White attends a press conference prior to the taping of "Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute To America's Golden Girl" on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Vince Bucci)
Actress Betty White arrives on a white pony as she is honored at a Friars Club Roast sponsored by Godiva, Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the Sheraton Hotel in New York. (AP Photo/Starpix, Marion Curtis)
Betty White, at left, attends her wax figure unveiling at Madame Tussauds on Monday, June 4, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Katy Winn/Invision/AP)
From left, Sgt. 1st Class Chuck Shuck, Actress Betty White and The 2012 American Hero Dog Gabe pose during 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP)
Betty White and Cloris Leachman onstage at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the JW Marriott on Saturday, April 20, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP)
Ellen DeGeneres, left, presents Betty White with the award for favorite TV icon at the People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Betty White, left, speaks at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Looking on from right are Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)