She reportedly suffered a stroke on Christmas, six days before her passing

Betty White’s cause of death has been identified as a “cerebrovascular accident” – the medical term for a stroke – according to her legal death certificate. TMZ published the document yesterday (January 10), alongside claims that “sources with direct knowledge” told the publication White was “alert and coherent after the stroke”, and “died peacefully in her sleep at home”. According to her death certificate, issued by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, White suffered her stroke on December 25, 2021, six days before her passing on New Year’s Eve. It was noted that she suffered no other significant conditions that were likely to have contributed to her death. White was less than three weeks away from celebrating her 100th birthday (on Monday January 17) when she died. Her death was confirmed by her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas, who wrote in a statement: “Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever. I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much.” The eight-time Emmy winner held the record for the longest TV career of any entertainer. She made her debut in 1939, when the medium was just an experiment, and went on to appear as an actor, host and highly sought-after guest well into her 90s. She is best remembered for her scene-stealing roles in two pioneering sitcoms – as Sue Ann Nivens, the relentlessly man-hungry cooking show host on the The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the ’70s, and as the sweet-natured simpleton Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls in the ’80s. The night following her death, Saturday Night Live re-aired the 2010 episode that White hosted. The episode, born from a fan-led petition that gained almost half-a-million signatures, made White the oldest person to ever host SNL at 88. She won her seventh Emmy for the performance. 

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