Betty White’s ‘very last word out of her mouth’ was calling for late husband Allen Ludden – Daily Mail


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Betty White's last word was calling out the name of her late husband Allen Ludden prior to her death at 99 on Friday, according to her colleague Vicki Lawrence.

Lawrence, 72, told Page Six on Monday that she contacted friend Carol Burnett, 88, in the wake of White's passing.

Lawrence said, '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."'

She continued: '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." 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."' 

The latest: Betty White's last word was calling out the name of her late husband Allen Ludden prior to her death at 99 on Friday, according to her colleague Vicki Lawrence, 72. White and Ludden were snapped on an episode of The Love Boat in 1980 

White, who was set to turn 100 years old January 17, was wed to Ludden from 1963 until his 1981 death from stomach cancer at the age of 63.

Lawrence was the star of the NBC series Mama’s Family, which ran from 1983-1990; White played the role of Ellen Harper Jackson on 16 episodes of the show.

She opened up on her professional experiences with the late comedy icon.

Beloved: The show business icon was hailed at the Emmys in LA in 2018 

Love: Ludden and White were seen appearing on a special in June of 1973 

'Well, you didn’t really work with her, you just had a good time,' she said. 'Carol called it "playing in the sandbox," and I think that’s exactly what it was. Betty was just the perfect playmate.'

Lawrence described White as 'incredibly professional,' adding, 'I don’t remember her ever not being prepared or ever messing up her lines.'

Lawrence recalled White's loving nature with a story about how she once arrived an hour late to the set because she saved a pair of golden retrievers, 'because that’s what [she] would do.

'This was before cell phones, and everybody was beside themselves because Betty was never late,' she 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."'

Peers: Lawrence was the star of the NBC series Mama’s Family, which ran from 1983-1990; White played the role of Ellen Harper Jackson on 16 episodes of the show

Icons: (L-R) Carol Burnett, Amy Schumer, Lawrence, and the late Tim Conway were seen in NYC in 2012 

Lawrence told the outlet that she 'loved hearing [White] talk about early, early Hollywood' and marveled over her longevity in the industry.

'Show business can be so disappointing when you meet people, but Betty was such a lovely lady,' she said. 'I was reading the other day, when she first started on television, there were only a thousand people in LA that had a TV. Like, holy s, that’s just insane! I feel like our number one television historian has just left us, you know?'

Lawrence recalled to the outlet how she learned of White’s passing: 'I saw that notification on my phone and I thought, "Well, this is just the fing exclamation point at the end of the worst year." It was like, "And furthermore, Betty’s gone."'

Elsewhere on Monday, White's longtime agent and friend denied an Internet rumor that the TV icon's death was linked to her getting a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot.

Some social media users had shared a quote falsely attributed to White prior to her death, which said: 'Eat healthy and get all your vaccines. I just got boosted today.'

However, her agent Jeff Witjas has denied she ever gave the quote, saying her death 'should not be politicized.' 

In a statement to PEOPLE on Monday, Witjas added: 'Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home. People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true.

'She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicized — that is not the life she lived.' 

It was also revealed this week that White lived her last few years in her Los Angeles home over COVID concerns - but had wished she could have stayed in the Carmel, California, home she shared with Ludden. 

Denial: Betty White's agent has denied a rumor that her passing was related to getting the COVID-19 booster shot (Pictured together in 2015) 

Rumors: A quote attributed to White had been doing the rounds on the Internet 

White was living in her five-bedroom, six-bathroom Brentwood home in West Los Angeles when she died on Friday - just weeks before her 100th birthday.

Witjas told the Associated Press she had been staying at her LA home during the pandemic out of caution. 

But if she had it her way, the New York Post reports, White would have remained at her longtime marital home in Carmel, which she built with Ludden when they bought the land back in 1978 for just $170,000.

Ludden died just three days shy of their 18th wedding anniversary in June 1981, leaving White with three step-children: David, Martha and Sarah.

'She never wanted to leave her home in Carmel, but was forced to for at-home care,' an unnamed source told the Post, explaining: 'Los Angeles was more accessible.

'If she had it her way, Betty would've lived and died in that home [in Carmel],' he said. 'It's the home she shared with her husband - it's where she felt more comfortable.'

Meanwhile, her agent Witjas also revealed that he always reminded Betty of her popularity among fans.

Rest in peace: White, who died at the age of 99 on Friday, was only two and a half weeks away from celebrating her 100th birthday in January

He told People: 'She knew it, but I would tell her 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."'

Jeff always wanted Betty to know just how much people loved and admired her.

He told People: '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.'

Jeff is also glad that Betty - who died at her home in Los Angeles on Friday - was able to achieve her life ambitions.

He added that her popularity went 'beyond love'.

He said: 'Betty lived a great life and she lived a life that she chose. 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.' 

Remembering an icon: Fans paid their respects to White at her Hollywood Walk Of Fame star

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