Devoted animal-lover, Betty White, has passed away just shy of her 100th birthday

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As 2021 wraps up, so does the end of an era. The iconic actress, Betty White, has passed away at the age of 99, just shy of her 100th birthday. TMZ broke the news of White’s passing on Friday morning. TMZ learned from law enforcement that White died at her home this morning.

The beloved actress was a huge animal lover who was as devoted to animals as she was to her career. She once told TV Guide, “I’m the luckiest person in the world — my life is divided in absolute half: half animals, half show business.” Her love for animals began as a child, and she had said that her parents were animal lovers as well. White worked with numerous animal welfare organizations, including the Morris Animal Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, the Los Angeles Zoo Commission and more. In 2011, she was a presenter for the American Humane Hero Dog Awards.

On Friday, her agent and friend, Jeff Witjas, told PEOPLE:

“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. 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.”

Recently, the legendary actress had told People that her secret to longevity was “avoiding anything green,” and said, “I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age. It’s amazing.” Her milestone birthday would have been January 17.

Rest in peace Betty – you will be missed by us all.

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