Betty White’s hometown celebrates beloved actress’ legacy

OAK PARK, Ill. — On the eve of what would have been her 100th birthday, beloved actress Betty White was honored by her hometown Sunday.

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Hundreds of well-wishers from Oak Park, Illinois, and beyond gathered in front of the Classic Cinemas Lake Theatre, the Chicago Tribune reported. A large sign that read “Thank you for being a friend,” and the theme song from White’s NBC situation comedy, “The Golden Girls” were performed as Oak Park Village President Vicki Scaman proclaimed Monday as Betty White Day, the newspaper reported.

White, who died Dec. 31, 2021, was 99 and just a few weeks short of her 100th birthday. The actress was born Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park.

“Betty is something, someone different, and we feel like everyone wants to celebrate her,” Oak Park resident Lourdes Nicholls told WLS-TV. “Everyone wants to be like Betty.”

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Scaman read a proclamation honoring the actress, the Tribune reported.

“Betty White has left far more than rolls of film,” Scaman told the crowd. “She brought people together with her relentless positivity, talent and strength.”

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The Animal Care League hosted a pet adoption event in White’s memory across the street from the theater, WBBM-TV reported. White was known for her love of animals.

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“Thank You For Being a Friend,” written by Andrew Gold, was the opening song of “The Golden Girls,” which aired from 1985 to 1992 and continues today in syndication, the Tribune reported. It was sung for the show by Cindy Fee, who resides in the Chicago area and attended Saturday’s party to sing an a capella version of the tune, according to the newspaper.