A Collection of Snopes Fact Checks About Betty White

White — who was reported dead at age 99 on Dec. 31, 2021 — was the target of numerous Internet rumors and hoaxes throughout her life.

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Betty White
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With an acting career that spanned more than a half-century, it’s no surprise that Betty White was the subject of numerous Internet rumors.

Even in the final months of her life (she was reported dead at age 99 on Dec. 31, 2021), Snopes regularly researched her biography or work history to determine the legitimacy of various claims about her. Take this April 2021 fact check, for example, that corroborated a story about White’s facing criticism in the 1950s for having a Black tap dancer on her variety talk show, “The Betty White Show.”

Below are additional facts about the TV legend, all of which we uncovered while investigating popular memes, web pages, or social media posts throughout the years.


White Didn’t Die Until Dec. 31, 2021

For years before her death, the actress was the target of celebrity death hoaxes online.

For instance, in September 2014, a punning headline on a satire website was misinterpreted and framed online as a genuine statement about her death.

Later, in November 2019, the same post was still causing panic among some fans and prompting thousands of searches on Snopes.com. Read more…


White Didn’t Receive a COVID Booster Shot 3 Days Before She Died 

Less than 24 hours after Betty White’s death was reported, memes and rumors began circulating to the effect that she had revealed receiving a COVID-19 booster vaccination on Dec. 28, three days before she died. 

betty white booster vaccine

However, the press interview in which the statement allegedly appeared did not, in fact, contain any such revelation, nor was it reported in any legitimate news sources that White had received a booster shot days before she died. White’s agent, Jeff Witjas, confirmed that she had never made such a statement and said she did not receive a booster vaccination on Dec. 28. Read more… 


These Black-and-White Images Don’t Show White

In mid-October 2015, we addressed a series of photographs purportedly showing the former star of the “Golden Girls” back when she was in her twenties. While the older woman pictured in the upper left-hand corner was certainly White, the younger women were not.

betty white facebook

Those images weren’t the only ones to circulate under the misleading title, “Betty White In Her 20s.”

The below-displayed image was also circulating at the time. And, unlike the black-and-white photographs, it indeed depicted White. However, she was 35 years old in the photo — a bit older than what social media posts claimed. Read more… 

betty white in her 30s


White Didn’t Say This About Genitals

In July 2016, we debunked a long-standing meme that claimed White uttered a witty rejoinder to the oft-used phrase “Grow some balls.” She set the record straight in an interview with The Guardian, saying of the rumor: “That’s what I hate about Facebook and the internet. They can say you said anything. I never would have said that. I’d never say that in a million years.” Read more… 


This Is Not an Actual Photo of Betty White Flipping the Bird

For years, a cheeky photograph of White supposedly displaying her middle finger (“flipping the bird”) in front of a camera made the online rounds and was immortalized in memes and on merchandise. 

Betty White flipping the bird

Much as the internet wanted it to be real, alas, the pic was a fake, created by manipulating a photo of White making a different (though no less amusing) gesture. Read more…


This 2016 GoFundMe, Purportedly To Benefit White, Was a Smokescreen

In December 2016, Snopes called attention to a GoFundMe page that claimed it would use donations to “keep [White] safe,” but it was really a veiled campaign to raise funds for children’s arts programs. Read more… 


She Was Older than Sliced Bread

In January 2021 — just days before her 99th birthday — we dubbed the below-displayed viral tweet factual. White was born in early 1922 and the first commercial bread-slicing machine was invented roughly six years later, in 1928. Read more… 


White Didn’t Tweet This About a U.S. Senator and Big Bird

In November 2021, a pair of tweets supposedly posted by White were widely circulated on Twitter. The first involved an insulting message directed at U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s masculinity. The second involved a defense of the “Sesame Street” character Big Bird, who was on the receiving ends of attacks from conservative politicians, such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, after the Muppet indicated that he had received a COVID-19 vaccine. 

However, they were not genuine postings from White. Read more… 


This Isn’t a Real Photo of White with Eazy-E

Also in November 2021, we addressed an old photograph supposedly showing Eazy-E with White at a restaurant (as Dr. Dre sits at a table in the background). It wasn’t a genuine documentation of the two celebrities together. Rather, the image was a composite of at least two different photographs. Read more… 

— Snopes staff writers contributed to this report.