Betty White, a legendary actress, tipped her hat to the world on Dec. 31. Her final words were for the love of her life, her late husband Allen Ludden.
Speaking to Page Six, Vicki Lawrence, who appeared on Mama’s Family with the late comedian in the 1980s, noted that the last thing that White said was “Allen.”
Apparently, it was their co-star and friend Carol Burnett who relayed the information to Lawrence. “I texted Carol and said, ‘This just sucks. I hate this. It’s just horrible to see the people you love so much go away,'” she recalled texting after hearing about The Proposal star’s demise at 99.
“Carol wrote back and said, ‘I know, I know. I spoke to Betty’s assistant, who was with her when she passed, and she said the very last word out of her mouth was ‘Allen,'” she added. “How sweet is that? I said, ‘That is so sweet. God, I hope that’s true. For all of us, I really hope it’s true, a lovely thought,'” said Lawrence.
The Golden Girls star died in her sleep of natural causes just weeks before her 100th birthday, on January 17, at her home in Los Angeles’s Brentwood neighborhood. In her lifetime, White experienced two short-lived marriages until she met celebrity game show host Ludden while guest appearing on his show Password in 1961.
At the time, Ludden was married to his wife of 18 years, Margaret McGloin. Unfortunately, she succumbed to cancer soon after and left him to care for their three children. A year following this tragedy, White and Ludden were cast in the same play and there began a beautiful friendship that evolved into a beautiful love story. “
“He brought his three kids, and they all started courting me along with Allen,” she recalled during an interview with the Los Angeles Times. While Ludden proposed her several times for marriage, White was initially quite reluctant. That being said, she ultimately did say yes and they tied the knot in 1963.
Just three days before celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary, Ludden tragically passed away. He was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in the early 1980s and sadly died a year later. Despite his demise, White did not get remarried as she had already “had the best.” Appearing on Larry King Now in 2014, she said, “When you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?”
She had a great love with Ludden, who she hoped to be reunited with upon her death. “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,” said her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas.