Golden Girls actress Betty White has passed away at the age of 99, just three weeks before her landmark 100th birthday. 

The beloved actress had delighted viewers for more than eight decades in various Emmy-winning roles on television sitcoms.

White is said to have died on Friday morning (December 31), law enforcement has confirmed.

She is considered one of the first female pioneers in television and even holds the Guinness World Record for 'Longest TV Career for an Entertainer' after starting work in TV in 1939.

Betty Whites dies weeks before milestone 100th birthday

The award-winning US actress is best known for starring as Rose in 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls but she has also starred in Hot In Cleveland, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Betty White Show and Life With Elizabeth.

White also played Ryan Reynolds’ grandmother in the 2009 romantic comedy The Proposal, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

The star has won five Primetime Emmy Awards out of 21 nominations, along with several other top gongs.

White was due to celebrate her centennial birthday on January 17, 2022.

Speaking to People magazine on December 28, White said: “I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age. It’s amazing.

“I try to avoid anything green. I think it’s working.”

She said being “born a cockeyed optimist” is the key to her upbeat nature.

“I got it from my mom, and that never changed. I always find the positive,” the 99-year-old added.