Entertainment TV Betty White 'Died Peacefully in Her Sleep' at Home, Agent Says The beloved comedian died on Friday at age 99, just two and a half weeks before what would have been her centennial birthday By Katie Campione Katie Campione Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on December 31, 2021 06:39 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Betty White "died peacefully in her sleep at her home early this morning," her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas tells PEOPLE. Witjas previously confirmed to PEOPLE that the beloved comedian had died on Friday at age 99, just two and a half weeks before what would have been her centennial birthday. "Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," he said in an earlier statement. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again." Betty White Once Helped Launch the Career of a Black Tap Dancer by Hiring Him for Her Variety Show White was gearing up to celebrate her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. Ahead of the day, in a cover story, White opened up to PEOPLE about how she was feeling about turning 100 years old. Betty White. getty "I'm so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age," said the veteran actress. "It's amazing." According to White, being "born a cockeyed optimist" was the key to her upbeat nature. "I got it from my mom, and that never changed," she said. "I always find the positive." Of course, the iconic actress also cracked a joke about the secret to her long life, telling PEOPLE: "I try to avoid anything green. I think it's working." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. "We are deeply saddened by the news of Betty White's passing," said PEOPLE editor in chief Dan Wakeford. "We are honored that she recently chose to work with PEOPLE to celebrate her extraordinary life and career." Betty White. getty Following the news of her death, Hollywood's biggest stars shared tributes to the beloved actress. Where to Stream Betty White's Movie and TV Classics Right Now, from Golden Girls to The Proposal "The world looks different now," wrote Ryan Reynolds, who had fostered a loving relationship with White over the years. "She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We'll miss you, Betty." White's Hot in Cleveland costar Valerie Bertinelli also shared her condolences on social media. "Rest in peace, sweet Betty," Bertinelli wrote. "My God, how bright heaven must be right now." As the world prepared to ring in a new year on Friday night, Andy Cohen wrote: "Tonight we will raise MANY glasses to the WONDERFUL legacy of Betty White!!!"