For months, editors of People magazine had focused on the issue. betty white for the year-end cover letter. Her 100th birthday was approaching on January 17, and readers always seemed to warm to her self-deprecating, somewhat mischievous observations. Ms. White, who has been a favorite of social media in recent years, has appealed to everyone, young and old.
By mid-December, the magazine’s 29-year veteran Liz McNeil and her new colleague Dory Jackson were collaborating on the piece, and Ms. White was responding to inquiries via email, according to People’s deputy editor Wendy Naugle. . On December 23, the editors closed the issue. It hit newsagents on Wednesday and began arriving in subscribers’ mailboxes on Friday.
Folk trumpets were playing next to a bright photograph of Mrs. White with her eyes shining: “Betty White is turning 100!”
Miss White died Friday morning. He was 99 years old.
Twitter raves began to pour in as fans celebrated Miss White’s comedy performances on “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” People started to trend. Some fans accused the magazine of bringing bad luck to Miss White. (In addition to the weekly issue, People also celebrated his centennial with a commemoration issue devoted entirely to his seven-year career.)
Others were delighted that Miss White, known for her diabolical sense of humor and impeccable comedy timing, seemed to have had one last laugh.
People’s editor, Dan Wakeford, was in London when he heard the news of Mrs. White’s death, and the risk of reporting something that hadn’t happened yet became a Hall of Fame example. (The most notorious example is the 1948 Chicago Daily Tribune’s decision to mistakenly declare “Dewey Truman Beat”.)
Perhaps adding insult to injury, a rival celebrity news outlet, TMZ.com, News Network About the death of Mrs. White, citing anonymous law enforcement sources.
Still, People was able to get the first official confirmation—from their manager, Jeff Witjas, who helped organize the meeting. “Even though Betty is 100 years old, I thought she would live forever,” Mr Witjas told the magazine. “I will miss him terribly, and so will the animal world he loves so much.”
People then posted a comment from Mr Wakeford to his Twitter account. “We are deeply saddened by the news of Betty White’s death,” she said. “We are honored that he has recently chosen to work with People to celebrate his extraordinary life and career.”
Speaking over the phone, Naugle said he and the other employees were “all in shock”. Ms. White noted that she shared an image of her 100th birthday cover on Tuesday with her 1.3 million Twitter followers. “People Magazine celebrates with me!” the article has been read.
It turned out to be Miss White’s last post. On one of December 15th, she promoted a documentary called “Betty White: 100 Years Young,” which is scheduled to be released in theaters on January 17. “I’m going BIG for my birthday – BIG SCREEN! ” Mrs. White had said.
The producers of the film, Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein, said that the film will go out as planned. “Betty has always said she is ‘the luckiest woman on two legs’ to have had such a long career that she did,” they said in a statement. “And to be honest, we were the lucky ones to have him for so long.”
When asked to reconcile the sadness of Miss White’s death with the sobs on the cover, Miss Naugle looked on the bright side. “I think fans will be impressed to know that he’s funny and in a good mood until the end,” she said.
Ms. White had joked to People, for example, that her longevity could be partially attributed to her diet. “I try to avoid anything green,” he said. “I think it works.”