Betty White’s manager has hit out against rumours the late actress’s death was caused by complications from the Covid-19 booster vaccination.
The iconic star died at the weekend just weeks before her milestone 100th birthday.
Jeff Witjas, who was the Golden Girls star’s agent and close friend, said in a new statement to PEOPLE : “Betty died peacefully in her sleep at her home.
“People are saying her death was related to getting a booster shot three days earlier but that is not true.
“She died of natural causes. Her death should not be politicised — that is not the life she lived.”
Jeff moved to dispel the rumours after false quotes were mistakenly attributed to Betty regarding the vaccine.
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It was also reported that during the pandemic, Betty had lived in her Los Angeles home due to concerns over the virus, although she would have liked to have stayed in the California home she had shared with her late husband Allen Ludden.
She was married to Allen from 1963 until he died from stomach cancer in 1981 at the age of 63.
Actress Vicki Lawrence, who worked alongside Betty on Mama’s Family, claimed on Monday that her last word before her death was her late husband’s name.
The 72-year-old told Page Six : “‘I texted Carol [Burnett] and said, ‘This just sucks. I hate this. It’s just horrible to see the people you love so much go away’.
“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 continued: “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.'”
Vicki explained to the publication how working with Betty was always great fun.
She said: “Well, you didn’t really work with her, you just had a good time. Carol called it ‘playing in the sandbox,’ and I think that’s exactly what it was.
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“Betty was just the perfect playmate. And I have to say this, she was incredibly professional. I don’t remember her ever not being prepared or ever messing up her lines.”
Stars paid emotional tributes to the actress as soon as the sad news of her passing was announced.
Among those saying kind words was actor Ryan Reynolds, who starred in rom com The Proposal alongside her.
He wrote: “The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”
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