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Betty White photos: Pictures of the legendary Hollywood icon through the years

White died at the age of 99.

LOS ANGELES — Betty White, the beloved actress and comedian whose career spanned decades in radio, film and television, has died at the age of 99.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," her agent and friend Jeff Witjas told People in a statement Friday, Dec. 31.

The beloved Hollywood icon was born Jan. 17, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill. Her career in television began at an early age, just three months after graduating high school, when she and a former classmate sang songs on a Los Angeles TV channel.

In 1949, White co-hosted "Hollywood on Television" on KLAC-TV in Los Angeles. The show was very simple: White and her co-host would ad-lib on camera for 5 1/2 hours a day, six days a week.

Eventually, White hosted the show solo for a short time. It’s believed that made her television's first solo female talk show host.

White went on to have her own series, "Life with Elizabeth" from 1953-1955. She also appeared in the short-lived series "Date with the Angels" in the late 1950s. From there, she racked up a number of guest appearances on various shows and TV movies.

Two of her most famous roles were on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the 1970s and "The Golden Girls" between 1985 and 1992. She continued acting into her late 90s.

White, who was weeks away from turning 100, recently told People that being "born a cockeyed optimist" was the key to her upbeat nature. "I got it from my mom, and that never changed," she told the magazine. 

"I always find the positive."

TEGNA's Travis Pittman contributed to this report.

Scroll below to see photos of White through the years:

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles
Actresses Sandra Bullock, left, and Betty White dance on stage at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010 in Universal City, Calif.
Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Betty White mockingly checks her makeup in her award as presenter Michelle Lee looks on backstage at the 11th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame ceremonies on Sunday, Oct. 15, 1995, in Los Angeles.
Credit: AP Photo
Actress Betty White in 1965.
Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file
In this May 18, 1976, file photo, cast members of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," pose with their Emmys backstage, at the 28th annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. From left are, Ed Asner, Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore and Ted Knight.
Credit: AP Photo/Bob Wands
"Password" master of ceremonies Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White, who is also a TV personality, spend leisure hours at home gardening, birdwatching and game playing in Westchester, N.Y. on May 14, 1965.
Credit: AP Photo/Nick Ut, File
Actors from the television series "The " Golden Girls" stand together during a break in taping Dec. 25, 1985, in Hollywood. From left are, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Betty White.
Credit: AP Photo/Bob Wands, File
Allen Ludden and his wife Betty White plays a game of cards in their home in Westchester, N.Y. on April 29, 1965.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Betty White, a cast member in "You Again," poses with fans holding Betty White masks at the premiere of the film in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010.
Credit: AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File
Actress Betty White poses for a portrait in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 5, 1982. Betty White, whose saucy, up-for-anything charm made her a television mainstay for more than 60 years, has died. She was 99.
Credit: Katy Winn/Invision/AP
Betty White, left, attends her wax figure unveiling at Madame Tussauds on Monday, June 4, 2012, in Los Angeles.

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