Betty White dies just weeks before 100th birthday - report

Betty White.
Betty White. Photo credit: Getty Images

Betty White has reportedly died, less than three weeks before her 100th birthday.

TMZ reports the Golden Girls star passed away at home on Friday morning (US time), citing "law enforcement sources". 

She would have been 100 on January 17.

White has had one of the longest careers of anyone in entertainment, first appearing on TV in 1939 when the medium was brand new.

Her best-known roles were playing Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the 1970s and Rose Nyland on The Golden Girls in the 1980s and early 1990s. 

Before then, she hosted a daytime talk show called Hollywood on Television, which ran from 1949 to 1953, receiving her first Emmy nomination in 1952 with her spinoff sitcom Life With Elizabeth. 

After success with The Golden Girls, White became a regular on talk and game shows, and made guest appearances on other programmes like Community30 Rock and The Bold and the Beautiful.

At 88, she became the oldest person ever to host Saturday Night Live.

Earlier this week, she credited her longevity to her mother.

"I've always been a cockeyed optimist," White told Fox News. "I got it from my mom. I'm gonna stick with it."

In a separate interview, White told People she felt in "good health" and joked her secret was to "avoid anything green" in her diet.