Days before her death, the legendary Betty White, 99, joked how her former costar, Ryan Reynolds, was not able to “get over her,” since costarring together in The Proposal.
The two played alongside Sandra Bullock in the 2009 comedy, and in the decade since Reynolds, 45, has carried on the joke that his onscreen grandmother is his “ex-girlfriend.”
In PEOPLE’s issue celebrating her accomplishments ahead of her 100th birthday, she joked about her co-star’s love for her. The actress died in her sleep at home on December 31, 2021. She was 99-years-old.
“I’ve heard Ryan can’t get over his thing for me,” she says, “but Robert Redford is The One.”
In this issue, Reynolds says he has been a fan of Betty’s “for as long as I can remember.”
“I heard that scripts for Golden Girls were only 35 pages, which makes sense because so many of the laughs come from Betty simply looking at her castmates,” he says, also joking that White is “a typical Capricorn. Sleeps all day. Out all night boozing and snacking on men.”
While, Bullock, 57, shared how White had “ridiculous” comedic timing.
“Timing isn’t easy in comedy, because you have to navigate other people’s timing. Betty pivots like I have never seen, making it look seamless,” she says. “The rest of us just remain silent and pray we’re not cut out of the scene.”
Bullock added that close pal White is a “loving, decent, optimistic, inclusive, hilarious human being,” and she hopes White spends her milestone birthday “the same way she has celebrated every day of her life: with humor, kindness and a vodka on ice, toasting to the fact that she’s a bad*** who has left us all in the dust.”
But just weeks shy of her 100th birthday, White passed on. To which Bullock shared of the loss: “I don’t drink vodka … but I will tonight, on ice, with a slice of lemon with a hot dog on the other side and just be okay being sad.”
“I’ll have to buy some rose-colored glasses because Betty was that for all of us.”
“The world looks different now,” wrote Reynolds to Twitter shortly after her passing. “She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty.”
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas said in a 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.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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