Dolly Parton Tributes the Late Betty White: ‘I Will Always Love Her’
Dolly Parton is among the many friends, fans and fellow entertainers who turned to social media to tribute Betty White, who died on Friday morning (Dec. 31) at the age of 99. In a post on Saturday morning (Jan. 1), Parton says White "will live forever."
"While watching the news last night I learned of Betty White’s passing," Parton writes on Twitter.
"Betty will live forever not only in this world but the world here after. I will always love her as we all will!"
The admiration was mutual. In a 2010 interview with the Boot, White revealed that she was a country music fan, adding that Parton's "9 to 5" was one of her favorite songs.
"I like Dolly's whole approach to life with ongoing and uplifting songs," she said. "I never met Dolly but everything I ever heard about her she was a great gal to know and you could kind of get it in her music and her voice and her approach to lyrics."
The iconic comic actor and entertainer shot to fame on all-time classic television shows including The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the '70s, The Golden Girls in the '80s and early '90s and more. White appeared most recently in Hot in Cleveland, which ran from 2010-2015 on TV Land.
White was a television pioneer, becoming one of the first women to take control of her own career in a medium that was dominated by men, particularly early on. She became the first woman to produce a sitcom, and her work in sitcoms, as well as her extensive appearances on TV game shows including the Hollywood Squares, Match Game, The $25,000 Pyramid and more, earned her eight Emmy Awards, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Grammy Award. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Television Hall of Fame inducted White in 1985.
White also devoted much of her life to animal activism. She "died peacefully in her sleep" at her home on Friday morning, her agent, Jeff Witjas, says in a statement to People.
"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," he states. "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."
White was slated to celebrate her 100th birthday on Jan. 17.