Betty White’s final interview prior to her death at age 99 had included a video message dedicated to the several fans she collected throughout her decades in show business. According to Fox News, before her death, White was gearing up to celebrate her 100th birthday on January 17. As part of the celebration, she participated in a documentary special titled ‘Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration’ that would play in theaters across the country. Betty White – 100 Years Young: Betty White’s 100th Birthday Celebration Film Will Be Released as Planned.
Not only did the feature-length special mark what would become her final interview, but producer Steve Boettcher revealed that she also filmed a video tribute to her fans just ten days before her death that will accompany the special. “On December 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,” Boettcher told a news outlet, adding, “It’s kind of a shout-out to her fans that she did 10 days before she passed away.” Betty White Dies at 99 Less Than Three Weeks Shy of Her 100th Birthday, ‘National Treasure’ Capped a Career of More Than 80 Years.
Referring to White as an “eternal optimist,” he noted that it was important to her to be reflective on her 100th birthday and thank those who have loved her since she rose to fame years ago. Boettcher believed that she specifically felt indebted to her fans because she was a TV star and not a film actor. “I think Betty had this feeling, the sense that sometimes movie stars on the big screen are unapproachable, but with Betty, and her career, it happened on the small screen, on the television screen, and she felt she was invited into people’s homes every week. Whether it was the ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show’ or ‘Password’ or ‘Hot in Cleveland’ or ‘Golden Girls,’ she was invited in people’s living rooms,” Boettcher explained.
He continued, “She felt that as a special privilege kind of, like almost your favorite aunt coming over, your favorite grandmother coming over. So I think Betty really embraced that and cherished that relationship.” Although the documentary was originally intended to be a birthday celebration for White, organizers quickly announced that they still intend to debut the special on January 17. However, it will obviously be re-tooled a bit to be more of a celebration of her life and career. It has already been retitled to ‘Betty White: A Celebration’.
“Betty always said she was the ‘luckiest broad on two feet’ to have had a career as long as she did. And honestly, we were the lucky ones to have had her for so long,” a statement from producers Boettcher and Mike Trinklein reads. It further read, “We will go forward with our plans to show the film on January 17 in hopes our film will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life–and experience what made her such a national treasure.”
As per Fox News, in addition to White reflecting on her life, career and fans, the documentary will also include appearances from her friends in Hollywood, such as Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Valerie Bertinelli, James Corden, Wendie Malick and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
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