Just a week after Betty White‘s passing sent shockwaves across Hollywood, her cause of death, at age 99, has been listed as a cerebrovascular accident.
According to her death certificate, obtained by TMZ on Monday, the Golden Girls star suffered a stroke six days before she died peacefully in her sleep at her home.
While a stroke can cause lasting brain damage and long-term disability, sources told the outlet that White was ‘alert and coherent’ following the incident.
Devastating: Just over a week after Betty White’s passing sent shockwaves across Hollywood, her cause of death, at age 99, has been listed as a cerebrovascular accident
An insider confirmed to People that the beloved sitcom actress had ‘mild stroke’ but reiterated she ‘died peacefully in her sleep.’
White made her name on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as Sue Ann Nivens and cemented her star status with TV’s The Golden Girls and Hot In Cleveland.
Her death was announced by longtime agent Jeff Witjas, who told The Associated Press that she had not been suffering from any diagnosed illness.
Cause of death: According to her death certificate, obtained by TMZ on Monday, the Golden Girls star suffered a stroke six days before she died peacefully in her sleep at her home
‘I truly never thought she was going to pass away,’ Witjas said. ‘She meant the world to me as a friend. She was the most positive person I’ve ever known.’
Prior to her passing, Betty had participated in a film celebrating her 100th birthday that was set to hit a handful of theaters on Jan. 17.
The producers of Betty White: 100 Years Young said in a statement after her passing, however, that they ‘will go forward’ with plans to release the movie special on what would have been her 100th birthday.
While a stroke can cause lasting brain damage and long-term disability, sources told the outlet that White was ‘alert and coherent’ following the incident; flowers and momentos pictured on top of the Hollywood Walk of Fame star after news of her death
On December 28, she tweeted: ‘My 100th birthday… I cannot believe it is coming up, and People Magazine is celebrating with me! The new issue of @People is available on newsstands nationwide tomorrow.’
Writer John Leavitt joked: ‘You gotta admit, having an entire magazine devoted to your 100th birthday hit the racks and then dying before that birthday is excellent comic timing.’
President Joe Biden led tributes to the star, tweeting: ‘Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans.
She was last photographed in public running errands with her driver the day before her birthday 98th birthday, in January 2020. The star spent the remainder of last year, and the whole of 2021, shielding from COVID.
Shortly after that outing, she began limiting contact with others to avoid contracting the virus. When it first surged, she said she was ‘relaxing through her quarantine’ at her residence in Los Angeles.
The star’s essential errands, like groceries, were being taken care of for her so she wouldn’t have to leave her house. Additionally, she was ‘only coming in contact with people being equally cautious of the virus’ and who respected her state’s stay-at-home orders.
White was known for her optimism and positivity.
‘I’ve always been a cockeyed optimist,’ White once said in an interview with Fox News. ‘I got it from my mom. I’m gonna stick with it.’
On her 96th birthday she credited ‘vodka and hot dogs’ for her longevity and added that trips up and down the stairs of her two-story house kept her in shape.
Most importantly, she said: ‘It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find the humor in our everyday lives.’
When she was awarded the Guinness World Record for longest TV career for a female entertainer in 2014, she said: ‘I have no regrets at all. None. I consider myself to be the luckiest old broad on two feet.’
In a statement released last Friday, White’s agent said she never feared dying because she ‘always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again’ (The couple are pictured together in 1974)
White was born in Oak Park, Illinois on January 17, 1922.
Her legal name, Betty, is not a shortened version of ‘Elizabeth’ because her parents did not want their daughter saddled by any derivatives and nicknames like Beth, Liza and Ellie.
White was an only child and liked it that way, she remembers her blissfully happy childhood as a young girl who was ‘spoiled rotten, but taught to appreciate it.’
Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1923 when she was just over a year old. She attended Beverly Hills High School and though she was interested in theater she said, her dream was to become a zookeeper or forest ranger. ‘The problem was, back then a girl wasn’t allowed to be either one,’ she wrote in her autobiography.
She started her entertainment career in radio in the late 1930s and by 1939 had made her TV debut singing on an experimental channel in Los Angeles.
After serving in the American Women’s Voluntary Service, which helped the U.S. effort during World War Two, she was a regular on Hollywood on Television, a daily five-hour live variety show, in 1949.