Betty White‘s former assistant is giving fans a glimpse at White’s final days in honor of what would’ve been her 100th birthday.
Kiersten Mikelas, White’s longtime assistant took to White’s official Facebook page Monday to share a photo of the late actress taken on Dec. 20, 11 days before her death on New Year’s Eve. She was 99 years old.
“Hello Everyone! It’s Kiersten. Betty’s Assistant. On this special day, I wanted to share this photo of Betty. It was taken on 12/20/21. I believe it’s one of the last photos of her,” Mikelas wrote alongside the smiling snap of White. “She was radiant and beautiful and as happy as ever. Thanks to all of you who are doing kind things today and every day to make the world a better place .”
White appeared to be at home in the photo, posing in a bright green printed top and white pants. The 99-year-old funny woman had on white and gold jewelry and sported red lipstick for the occasion.
In ET’s last interview with White, she spoke about the momentous milestone and shared how she was feeling before her big day.
“[I’m] amazed,” the “Golden Girls” actress said. “No, seriously, I’m the luckiest broad on two feet to be as healthy as I am and to feel as good as I do!”
In fact, White said she felt so good that she was planning to celebrate her birthday with a once-in-a-lifetime movie event, “Betty White: A Celebration“. The film, which premiered on White’s birthday Monday, was released in 1500 theaters nationwide.
“Who doesn’t love a party?!? This one is gonna be GREAT!” White said in a press release, announcing the project. The film, which took a look at her long and successful career, included new interviews with White herself, behind-the-scenes clips of her work, funniest moments on “The Golden Girls”, hosting “Saturday Night Live”, “Hot in Cleveland”, “The Proposal”, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”, and a lost episode from White’s very first sitcom.
Special guests including Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Valerie Bertinelli, James Corden, Wendy Malick and Jennifer Love Hewitt and many others shared memories of White and paid tribute to her in the film.
“Betty White: A Celebration” also included one last message to the fans, filmed the same day as that final photo was taken.
“On Dec. 20, she did a short little video for us… it was kind of a tribute to her fans that were going to be with her at the event,” the film’s producer, Steve Boettcher shared. “It’s kind of a shout-out to her fans that she did 10 days before she passed away.”
“She looked amazing, she loved getting ‘glammed up,’ as she calls it, in her hair, makeup, she was just striking and beautiful,” he added of the video White recorded. “She was smiling and really she wanted to thank her fans sincerely, from the bottom of her heart, for all the support over the years.”
White died just 17 days short of her 100th birthday celebration. According to the death certificate obtained by ET, the beloved “Golden Girls” star suffered a stroke six days before her death. Her cause of death is listed as a cerebrovascular accident in her death certificate, which is a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue.
Cerebrovascular accidents are caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain, and symptoms include dizziness, numbness, weakness on one side of the body and problems with talking, writing, or understanding language. According to TMZ, who was first to report the cause of death, she was alert and coherent after the stroke.
White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, meanwhile, told ET in a statement, “I have not seen the death certificate. My statement is that I was told that Betty passed in her sleep peacefully without pain…To me this is the most important thing and brings me comfort as her dear friend…. Anything else is private to Betty.”
As far the legacy he feels White is leaving behind, Witjas said it was her ability to bring people from all walks of life together.
“Her legacy would be bringing people together in many ways because young people, older people, all different races all loved to watch Betty White,” he said. “You can sit in front of the television and watch whatever she did because it was funny. She never looked at herself too seriously, which is probably a good thing that a lot of us should do. We have to have humor, and that’s what she had and she was serious at times. She had thoughts about what was going on in the world, but she kept it to herself and she brought laughter and happiness and a lot of love to a lot of people.”
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