The Proposal star, 99, who will turn 100 on 17 January, reflected on her longevity and health in an interview with People for this week’s cover issue, where she revealed that she feels “so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age”.
According to White, one of her secrets pertains to her diet, with the actor telling the outlet: “I try to avoid anything green. I think it’s working.”
The Golden Girls actor, who has been acting since high school, also credited being “born a cockeyed optimist” for her ability to “always find the positive,” a trait she told People she inherited from her mother.
“I got it from my mom, and that never changed,” she said. “I always find the positive.”
While the Grammy winner has been in the public eye for a large part of the last 10 decades, she now enjoys a “quiet life” at home in Los Angeles, California, where she likes to play crossword puzzles and card games, and watch animal documentaries, golf and Jeopardy!
For the issue celebrating White, People also spoke with some of the actor’s former co-stars, such as Sandra Bullock, who praised the 99-year-old’s comedic timing.
“Timing isn’t easy in comedy, because you have to navigate other people’s timing. Betty pivots like I have never seen, making it look seamless,” she said. “The rest of us just remain silent and pray we’re not cut out of the scene.”
As for how she hopes White celebrates her centennial birthday, Bullock said she wants her to embrace the day “the same way she has celebrated every day of her life with humour, kindness and a vodka on ice, toasting to the fact that she’s a badass who has left us all in the dust”.
Carol Burnett also had praise for the star, who she applauded for her ability to “twist a line to get a laugh”.
“She’d come on my show, [The Carol Burnett Show], and if there was a tinge of risqué humour in one of our sketches, she’d roll with it and make it even funnier and add a little wink to show that she was thinking of something sexy,” Burnett said. “She’s not a stand-up. She’s not a jokester. It’s the way she can twist a line to get a laugh.”
According to Mary Steenburgen, the Hot in Cleveland star also enjoys shocking people with her humour in real life, as she said that White “loves to throw her little F-bombs around and does it with this beautifully dimpled smile”.
While many had praise for White’s humour, Steenburgen’s husband, The Good Place star Ted Danson, who works alongside White on her ocean conservation efforts, said that he looks to the longtime actor for guidance on “how to live”.
“It’s not like she’s just a bubbly, joyful person. She wakes up every day and chooses to be that way,” he said. “I think she leads a very purposeful life.”
The description of White’s positive attitude comes after the actor previously told Parade that her tip for decades of happiness is to “enjoy life”.
“Accentuate the positive, not the negative. It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say: ‘Hey, that was great!’ It’s not hard to find great stuff if you look,” she said.
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