The nationwide movie special planned to mark Betty White’s 100th birthday will go on as scheduled on Jan. 17 despite the actress’ death on Friday, the film’s producers said.
The beloved “Golden Girls” actress, 99, died Friday, several weeks short of her 100th birthday.
“Our hearts mourn today with the passing of Betty White. During the many years we worked with her, we developed a great love and admiration for Betty as a person, and as an accomplished entertainer,” producers Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein said in a statement. “We are thankful for the many decades of delight she brought to everyone. Betty always said she was the ‘luckiest broad on two feet’ to have had a career as long as she did. And honestly, we were the lucky ones to have had her for so long.
“We will go forward with our plans to show the film on Jan. 17 in hopes our film will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life -- and experience what made her such a national treasure.”
The film will take a look at White’s career and peek behind the scenes. It will also probe the star’s relationship with her office staff and her work as an animal advocate, Variety reported.
The guest list for the documentary will include Ryan Reynolds, Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Jay Leno, Carol Burnett, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel, Valerie Bertinelli, James Corden, Wendie Malick and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
“This celebration of America’s sweetheart is an opportunity to remember Betty White’s amazing life and career,” Boettcher and Mike Trinklein said in their statement. “It’s a time to come together and enjoy Betty’s classic moments.”
White, whose upcoming milestone birthday made the cover of the latest edition of People, told the magazine that being “born a cockeyed optimist” was the key to her upbeat nature.
“I got it from my mom, and that never changed,” White told the magazine. “I always find the positive.”
People was available on newsstands on Wednesday and began arriving in subscriber mailboxes on Friday, according to The New York Times.
The documentary will now serve as White’s final interview.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of Betty White’s passing,” People Editor-in-Chief Dan Wakeford said in a statement Friday. “We are honored that she recently chose to work with People to celebrate her extraordinary life and career.”
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