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Betty White honored on what would have been her 100th birthday

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Betty White honored on what would have been her 100th birthday

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Stephanie Bernaba recalls the first time she saw Betty White on TV. She was a young girl who lived with her grandparents in Rhode Island, where they spent many evenings watching “The Golden Girls,” starring White as Rose Nylund.

“We would lie on my grandmother’s bed and eat Planter’s snacks in a box,” laughed Bernaba, 43, a small media company owner. “We thought the show was really funny, but more than anything, I enjoyed watching her. She was so cheerful.”

White’s performance remained “a source of fond memories” for Bernaba for decades. Bernaba and her grandmother made a point of watching reruns of “The Golden Girls” for many years, whenever they were together and needed solace on the small screen.

Bernaba is one of many Betty White fans across the United States who have reflected on the Emmy-winning TV star’s life since her death on December 31 at age 99. Monday marked what would have been the actor’s 100th birthday, and some of those fans commemorated the occasion, attending celebrations of his career or participating in virtual commemorations.

In about 900 theaters across the country, independent distributor Fathom Events screened “Betty White: A Celebration,” a 100-minute documentary filmed before her death. (The original caption was “100 Years of Youth – An Anniversary Celebration”.)

“During the many years that we have worked with her, we have developed a great love and admiration for Betty as a person and as an accomplished artist,” producers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein said in a joint statement. .

“We are grateful for the many decades of enjoyment she has brought to everyone,” the producers added.

The film chronicles White’s prolific production and personal life, including his tireless advocacy for animals. It also features appearances from friends in the entertainment industry such as Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and Carol Burnett.

Leida Rosenberg, 72, and her husband, Barry Spielvogel, 74, braved the cold and the risk of Covid to attend a screening party for the film at AMC Kips Bay 15 in New York on Monday – their first outing to the cinema since the start of the pandemic.

“We loved it. We wouldn’t miss it,” said Rosenberg, a retired teacher.

“We were also stuck at home for two years,” Spielvogel added.

“She showed us that you can still be active even in your old age,” Rosenberg said. “You don’t have to stay home. You can go out and volunteer and do something you love.”

“As long as there is no Covid,” added Spielvogel.

In the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, where White was born, fans were invited to pay their respects outside a local movie theater over the weekend.

The city’s small businesses also paid tribute, according to NBC Chicago: A coffee shop served a “Betty White Mocha,” an Italian restaurant served glasses of its favorite cocktail (martinis, for the record) and a bakery sold out ” Stay Golden” cookies.

The Los Angeles Zoo took guests on a self-guided tour of White’s favorite spots on the property, while other animal sanctuaries posted tributes. White “cared deeply for all living creatures — including us,” said Denise M. Verret, CEO and director of the Los Angeles Zoo, where White served on the board.

Meanwhile, the #BettyWhiteChallenge hashtag took off on Instagram and Twitter. Social media users behind the campaign called on White’s fans to donate $5 to a local animal shelter or rescue on her behalf on Monday.

Google also recognized White. Anyone who searched for her name on Monday was greeted with animated rose petals and a graphic that read in part: “Thank you for being a friend” – a nod to the theme song “The Golden Girls”.

Monday’s tributes testify to White’s far-reaching legacy.

She was hailed as a natural TV performer, blessed with an easy smile and impeccable timing. She was recognized as a avatar from generation to generation professional longevity and graceful aging.

Eric Seader, a tech consultant who works with law firms and grew up on “The Golden Girls,” said he was particularly impressed with White’s animal activism at a time when many public figures seem only half attached to the causes. .

“Many celebrities support the cause, but few exude authenticity like she did,” Seader, 42, said in a phone interview.

“At a time when politicians and celebrities are changing their public statements to fit current trends, Betty’s messages of love, compassion and equality have never wavered,” he added.

Barbara Sather, 70, who lives in a Minneapolis suburb, put it even more succinctly: “If you love animals that much, you must be a good person. That tells you what was in her heart.”

Betty White honored on what would have been her 100th birthday

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