Vicki Lawrence Reveals Betty White's "Sweet and Loving" Last Words

By Allison Crist Jan 04, 2022 8:04 PMTags

Betty White has a legacy that will live on not just through the films and television shows she starred in, but through the memories of those who knew her best

One such figure includes Vicki Lawrence, White's longtime friend and co-star on The Carol Burnett Show, Mama's Family and Eunice

"I do have some lovely stories of Betty," Lawrence said during an exclusive chat on E! News' Daily Pop, going on to reminisce about everything from the late actress' love of animals—"Betty would pick up a snake and hand it to you, 'Isn't this beautiful?'"—to the dinner parties she threw in the pair's "early Mama's Family days," including one particularly memorable event.

"Betty invited us to her house for a lovely home-cooked meal and game night and fun. Lots of laughs," Lawrence began. "Al [Schultz] and I hadn't been married that long, just a few years. We're driving home, Al finally says, 'I hope you don't take this wrong, but if anything ever happened to you, I could date Betty White.'"

She continued, "I said, 'Well sweetie, I'll tell ya what. If anything ever happened to you, I could date Betty White.'"  

Betty White's Life in Pictures

"That we both agreed on, that we both absolutely adored her," Lawrence added. "And all these generations have just come to love her over and over and over again."

Now that fans are mourning White after she passed away at age 99 on Dec. 31, Lawrence wants to remind them that the Golden Girls alum "would not want us to be sad."

Cindy Ord/Getty Images, Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

"I know that she would say, 'Oh, sweetie, don't be sad for me. I had a blast! I had a great time. You need to laugh and carry on,'" Lawrence told E! News. "I honestly believe that's what she would say."

After being in touch with Carol Burnett, the actress also revealed what White apparently did say just before passing: her late husband's name.

"[Burnett] texted me back and she said that she spoke to Betty's assistant who was with her when she died," Lawrence explained. "Her assistant said the last word out of her mouth was 'Allen.' She said, 'How sweet and loving is that?'"

"I said, 'It's so sweet and so loving and, god, I hope it's true,'" Lawrence added.

Betty White's Best Roles

White met Allen Ludden, the then-host of Password, when she was a guest on the game show in 1961. He was married at the time, but his wife passed away of cancer soon after. 

A year later, White and Ludden were cast in the same play, and by 1963, they were married. 

Ludden died of cancer in 1981.

White, meanwhile, "died peacefully in her sleep at her home," according to her longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas.

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Witjas also spoke to NBC News on Jan. 3 to clear up false rumors about her passing.

"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," Witjas told NBC News. "Her death should not be politicized—that is not the life she lived."

An official cause of death for White has not yet been released.