By: Sara Ringenbach ~Arts & Entertainment Editor~
Iconic television star and America’s sweetheart Betty White passed away on Monday at age 95. White was rushed to UCLA Medical Center early Monday morning after collapsing from congestive heart failure while on set for her TV show, Betty White’s Smartest Animals in America.
Assistant to the boom operator Bernard Crangis was available for comment.
“We were filming, and Betty just wasn’t herself, so we figured she was hungry and gave her a Snickers,” Crangis said. “Then she just fell down. And it wasn’t her stunt double—it was really her. It was super freaky. Then someone called for a helicopter, and they flew her out, leaving me with all the animals—what am I supposed to do with four roosters that are members of MENSA?”
At the time of her collapse, White was hosting an episode of Smartest Animals in America covering the sixth grade reading level of streptococcus.
White’s 75-year Hollywood career heralded many accolades. Nominated for four Golden Globes and 21 Emmys, White was most noted for her roles as Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls and Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She received a 2012 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album, besting both Tina Fey and Val Kimler. Her cinematic credits include Naughty Marietta, Out of Africa, Lost Horizon, Kramer vs. Kramer and, more recently, The Proposal.
Members of the Xavier community are also mourning this loss.
“Betty White was a Jesuit treasure,” Father Michael Graham, President said. “In her honor, I will be taking up yet another parking spot in the Commons. I will reserve the spot right next to ‘Visitors of the President‘ for ‘Fans of Betty White.’ To park in this spot, students must purchase the BW parking pass, which you can buy at xavier.thepermitstore. edu for $232.27. Proceeds will not go to Betty White’s family, but our thoughts and prayers will. Also, violators will be ticketed.”
Xavier Theatre department head Stephen Skiles shared his personal connection to White.
“Betty taught our master acting class at OU, which I took with Piper Perabo and Woody Harrelson. We did scenes from Waiting for Lefty and Betty really helped me understand my role as Bud Haas,” Skiles said. “I ran into Betty again in New York— we tended to be up for the same roles. I was even called in for Golden Girls. I didn’t get the part, but I did have a brief stint as Blanche’s forbidden love interest from the frozen foods section.”
White’s last film, Black Santa 3, will be released post-mortemly in December of 2018.
In commemoration of Betty White, a celebrity sing-a-thon raising awareness for elderly death will be televised at 7 p.m. on Friday on ABC, CBS and Animal Planet.