Art & Hollywood

Betty White Turns 99 Years Old

Jan 16, 2021 ByLaura Lee

The actress Betty White turns 99 years old tomorrow on Sunday! The beloved comedian is sharing her tips for always finding the bright side of life. “I don’t like the other side,” White tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “The positive side is a lot more fun.” Born in 1922, in Oak Park, Illinois, she first dreamt of becoming a forest ranger, but women weren’t allowed to be rangers at the time. (The U.S. Forest Service made her an honorary forest ranger at age 88.)

White went on to find work in radio and television, launching a career that has spanned over eight decades and counting. She has won multiple Emmys and starred in some of TV’s most memorable roles — including her turns as the Happy Homemaker Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and sweet Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls — and her countless charming talk show and game show appearances.

Betty White

Getty Images/NBCUniversal

Along the way, she became an example of how to live well and live long — and a national treasure to boot. “I am blessed with good health,” she notes simply, “so turning 99 is no different than turning 98. A sense of humor,” she adds. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. You can lie to others — not that I would — but you cannot lie to yourself.”

While her birthday will be a quiet one this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, she says she’s looking forward to “visiting with close friends and bringing food to my animal friends” once life begins to return to normal and she can socialize again.