"I always remember how you loved bawdy and corny jokes," Vicki Lawrence remembered about Betty White.
Betty White said during an interview with CNN in February 2017, “I’m still able to get a job, at this age. I will go to my grave saying, ‘Can I come in and read for that tomorrow?’ ” This was her life till her last breath. But she was not just a celebrated actress but also a beloved friend. As White's longtime friend and Mama's Family co-star Vicki Lawrence, 73, remembered in an interview with PEOPLE, "the laughs they shared, Betty's devotion to animals" and why the star loved being called a "great broad."
Vicki also recalled, "Betty, you taught me so much. I remember after our cat Sophie got run over by one of the neighborhood kids on a bicycle, both of her front legs were broken and she looked like a little Frankenstein with splints. The kids were devastated. My husband, Al [Schultz], said, 'Go pour yourself a glass of wine and call Betty.' You told me, 'You're not putting her down. Take her to my orthopedic surgeon.' And then I grabbed Al's credit card." She added, "After I bought a dog from a pet store window, I got a lecture from you about rescue dogs who needed love. What was I thinking? I want you to know that every dog since then has been a rescue. We have two crazy mutts now."
Vicki remembered, "When we were doing Mama's Family, you told me about a new pilot — 'I think this is going to be the one,' you said — and I lost you to The Golden Girls. Wow, it was the one. So many young people are still devoted to it." She also appreciated White's sense of humor about life, as she told PEOPLE, "I always remember how you loved bawdy and corny jokes. After you were once described as 'a great broad,' somebody asked, 'Aren't you offended by that?' You said, 'Oh, honey, that is such a great compliment! We've reached an age where we've seen and done enough and we're allowed to be great broads.' " Vicki further added, "I miss being able to pick up the phone and talk. I'm getting older too, and nobody tells you how complicated this half of your life is. Boy, would I be asking you a lot of questions? I always used to say, 'I hope I grow up to be Betty White.' I feel so lucky to have known you."
Other friends from Hollywood had also joined to give a tribute to White. Ryan Reynolds, who starred alongside White in The Proposal wrote on Twitter, “The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectations. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.” Seth Meyers wrote on Twitter, “RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end.” Bridesmaids director Paul Feig also shared, “Man, 2021, you just couldn’t slip out without one more punch in the face, could you? So sad to hear comedy legend Betty White has passed. It’s hard to imagine a world without her. It’ll be a much less funny place, that’s for sure. RIP Genius Betty.”
RIP Betty White, the only SNL host I ever saw get a standing ovation at the after party. A party at which she ordered a vodka and a hotdog and stayed til the bitter end.— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) December 31, 2021
Betty White's life was a life well lived and she will be eternally alive in the memories of her loved ones!
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Brian To