"Betty passed in her sleep peacefully without pain," White's longtime agent and friend Jeff Witjas said.
Though it's been over a week since Betty White's death, the entire world is still trying to come to terms with the loss. Now, her cause of death has been revealed.
The Golden Girls star passed away in her sleep on December 31, 2021, at the age of 99. She reportedly died due to a cerebrovascular accident, according to her death certificate obtained by PEOPLE.
TMZ was the first to report the news. Per the death certificate, White suffered a stroke six days before her death.
A cerebrovascular accident is also known as a stroke. It happens when there is a loss of blood flow to part of the brain, which damages brain tissue. It is typically caused by blood clots and broken blood vessels in the brain.
A source revealed that "It was a mild stroke. She died peacefully in her sleep." White's longtime agent and friend Jeff Witjas also said: "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."
Witjas was the one who first confirmed the news of the actor's death. "Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," Witjas said. "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."
After her death, there was speculation that she had died of COVID, so once again, Witjas released a statement to clear the air, saying that her death was not due to effects related to a COVID-19 booster shot administered on December 28, 2021. "People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true," Witjas said in a statement to PEOPLE on Jan. 3. "She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived."
Betty White was about to turn 100 on January 17, 2022. Even though her death is still heartbreaking, Witjas told PEOPLE that she knew of the love fans had for her during her finals days, adding that he would remind her of it "often."
"Even when she wasn't working, I said, 'Betty, millions of people out there are still asking for you. You're getting your fan letters, I'm getting offers for you,'" he said. "I don't know if she ever embraced it, [or] really, really felt it. The extent of it. I really don't. I would always reinforce it with her because I always felt she should know that. I never wanted her to think while she was sitting at home, that the world has passed her by. It never did."
"Betty lived a great life and she lived a life that she chose," he added. "She was happy. Every time I told her, 'Betty, you're loved,' she would look at me with a wry smile and say, 'Really?' I hope she knew. I think she did. It was something beyond love."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Toby Canham