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Betty White turns 99 on Sunday

By Eric Todisco
January 17, 2021 11:15 AM
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Betty White
Betty White
| Credit: Kelsey McNeal/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

For Betty White, turning 99 means no one can tell her when it's bedtime.

"Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission," the award-winning actress and comedian, who turns 99 on Sunday, told The Associated Press.

To celebrate her big day, White plans to feed a pair of ducks that regularly visit her Los Angeles home. Later on, she'll enjoy a hot dog and French fries from her longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas, who will also come handy with a bouquet of roses, the AP reported.

In her own celebratory birthday post, the beloved star said of her big day, "Would you believe it?!"

"I am also very pleased to let you know about the re-release of my long-lost series after fifty years! I am just so proud of the "Pet Set," she wrote alongside a clip from the series, set to be released on streaming services and DVD Feb. 23.

The show, which originally aired in the 1970s, featured segments with both animal experts as well as famous animal lovers.

"I hope everyone is well and staying safe. We will get through this," White added.

Betty White
Betty White
| Credit: Getty

Throughout the day, White also received a number of loving birthday messages from her famous friends.

"I still get warm when I see this look," her Mary Tyler Moore costar Ed Asner wrote in one extra sweet tribute alongside a photo of the pair. "Happy 99 baby. You are a testament to living life on your own terms. Sending you a great big socially distanced kiss. I love you."

In a recent interview with PEOPLE, ahead of her birthday, White shared tips on how she manages to always stay positive and find the bright side of life.

"I don't like the other side," said White. "The positive side is a lot more fun."

For more on Betty White, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

With a career that has spanned over eight decades and counting, including roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, as well as countless talk show and game show appearances, White has become an example of how to live well and live long.

"I am blessed with good health," she said, "so turning 99 is no different than turning 98."

Betty White
Betty White in The Golden Girls
| Credit: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank

White also told PEOPLE that while her birthday will be low-key this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she is looking forward to "visiting with close friends and bringing food to my animal friends" once normal life resumes.

And as the beloved icon nears the century mark, she shares the one thing that keeps her going: "a sense of humor."

"Don't take yourself too seriously," she said. "You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself."