The COVID-19 pandemic may prevent Betty White from celebrating her 99th birthday with family and friends, but she still has some plans in mind for Jan. 17.
“Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by COVID, so I am working on getting ‘The Pet Set’ re-released, and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day,” the actress and comedienne told ET.
“The Pet Set” is, of course, White’s syndicated television show from the 1970s, which featured celebrities like Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day and Burt Reynolds — along with their furry friends. The series was produced by White’s late husband, Allen Ludden, and will be released on DVD and streaming platforms on Feb. 23 to mark the show’s 50th anniversary.
White, who was born in 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois, has always been a passionate animal advocate and has supported many organizations including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Wildlife Learning Center and Actors and Others for Animals. In fact, she dreamt of becoming a forest ranger when she was a girl, but that wasn’t a career available to women at the time. Years later, the U.S. Forest Service made her an honorary forest ranger at age 88.
In an interview on the Today show in 2016, White told viewers that her secret to staying (and feeling) young was her passion for furry friends.
“Don’t take yourself too seriously,” she advised. “You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself.”
She also noted that she was “blessed with good health, so turning 99 is no different than turning 98.”
Happy birthday to this wonderfully lovable legend!