The love of Betty White’s life was on her mind and her lips as she died, according to a new report.
White, a beloved actress for seven decades, died Friday at the age of 99. Actress Vicki Lawrence related to the New York Post’s Page Six what she said she was told by actress and friend Carol Burnett about White’s final moments.
“I texted Carol and said, ‘This just sucks. I hate this. It’s just horrible to see the people you love so much go away,’” Lawrence, 72, said.
“Carol wrote back and said, ‘I know, I know. I spoke to Betty’s assistant, who was with her when she passed, and she said the very last word out of her mouth was ‘Allen.’”
Allen Ludden, one of TV’s most famous game show hosts, married White in 1963. It was her third marriage.
“Then I thought, ‘Am I going to live the rest of my life without this man?’ Thank goodness we got married when we did.”
Ludden died of stomach cancer in 1981 at the age of 63.
“I had the love of my life. If you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” White said in a 2011 interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper when explaining why she never married again.
Lawrence said the tidbit Burnett shared was a light in the darkness that came when she heard of White’s passing.
“How sweet is that? I said, ‘That is so sweet. God, I hope that’s true. For all of us, I really hope it’s true, a lovely thought,’” Lawrence told Page Six.
She said White made every production a joy.
“Well, you didn’t really work with her — you just had a good time. Carol called it ‘playing in the sandbox,’ and I think that’s exactly what it was,” Lawrence said.
“Betty was just the perfect playmate. And I have to say this, she was incredibly professional. I don’t remember her ever not being prepared or ever messing up her lines.”
Lawrence noted that White once arrived an hour late to the set, but for a typical Betty White reason.
“This was before cellphones, and everybody was beside themselves because Betty was never late,” Lawrence said. “And she walks in, in a dither, and says, ‘I’m so sorry, but I was driving here and these two golden retrievers come running out into the intersection and they’re obviously lost. I had to pull over and get them.’”
White, a noted animal lover, got the dogs back home, Lawrence said, “because that’s what Betty would do.”
Lawrence said White was an entertainment industry rarity.
“Show business can be so disappointing when you meet people, but Betty was such a lovely lady, and I loved hearing her talk about early, early Hollywood,” she said.
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