Betty White had a kind message for her fans in a video she filmed shortly before her death. The legendary actor and comedian died in late December at age 99.
“I just want to thank you all for your love and support over the years. Thank you so much — and stick around!” White said in the clip, which was shared over the weekend on her official Instagram page.
White had planned to share the taped message with her fans on her 100th birthday Jan. 17, according to the video’s caption.
“She was using the occasion of her 100th birthday to celebrate YOU — her fans,” the caption read in part. “She knew how lucky she was; she felt the love, and she never took it for granted. I think it’s appropriate to post today as a thank (you) from Betty and the animals.”
The recent post on White’s Instagram page, which is now managed by her assistant, Kiersten Mikelas, also noted the success of the #BettyWhiteChallenge.
The viral challenge invited fans to honor White’s memory on what would have been her 100th birthday by donating $5 to a local animal shelter or rescue organization in her name.
“As we continue to see number coming in from all over the world — it’s just absolutely amazing how much money all of you raised for the animals through #thebettywhitechallenge,” the recent Instagram post read. “She could never have imagined such an outpouring of love and would have (been) so grateful to everyone.”
White was a tireless advocate for animal rights and welfare. In 2010, for instance, she worked with the Morris Animal Foundation to establish the Betty White Wildlife Rapid Response Fund, which sponsors animal research and helps wildlife in the wake of disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
She also worked closely with guide dog organizations including Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Seeing Eye, donating generously throughout her life and helping with their fundraisers and campaigns.
White’s assistant has shared multiple photos from the day White's recent Instagram video was filmed.
“You guys are lucky — it’s a two post day. Many people have had really big feelings about the profile pic. So, I decided to post what I’m sure is the last photo taken of her. Same day,” Mikelas captioned one photo she posted last week on Instagram. “After we completed recording the video for the film. I don’t have many pictures with her, because I never felt like I wanted to impose since she was always asked to take photos with people wherever we went. But I asked on 12/20/21 and I’m so glad I did. A wonderful memory of a happy, fun-filled day!”
Mikelas shared another photo of White from that day on Facebook, calling the late entertainer as “radiant and beautiful and as happy as ever.”
“She was excited to be ‘glammed’ up and to be able to record a message,” Mikelas recently told TODAY.
“She wanted people to see that she was alive and happy and really wanted an opportunity to thank people for supporting her throughout her life and career,” she added. “It was a truly special day. There was lots of laughing and excitement and talk about what kind of animals I was going to round up for her birthday.”