Was This Really Betty White's Last Word Before Her Death?

When Betty White died on New Year's Eve 2021, just weeks before her 100th birthday, the world was devastated, and grief over the loss of this entertainment legend and pop culture icon poured out all over social media, per the New York Times. Fans suggested that people toast to White, as well as the new year, at midnight and celebrate her life well lived.

As White's career spanned a whopping eight decades in television, a medium she started working in during its infancy, she appeared with many a well-known celebrity doing what she loved to do most — making people laugh.

At one time, she played Ellen Harper on "The Carol Burnett Show" spin-off "Mama's Family" (via IMDb), working with both Burnett and Vicki Lawrence. The two beloved stars who were so devastated by their costar's death that they texted so they could grieve together — and also revealed White's last word.

Was Betty White thinking of her husband before she passed?

When Vicki Lawrence, who donned a house dress and a gray wig to play Betty White's mother on "Mama's Family" in the 1980s, heard of her friend's death, she texted Carol Burnett and shared their conversation with Page Six.

"I texted Carol and said, 'This just sucks. I hate this. It's just horrible to see the people you love so much go away,'" Lawrence said. "Carol wrote back and said, 'I know, I know. I spoke to Betty's assistant, who was with her when she passed, and she said the very last word out of her mouth was 'Allen.'"

"How sweet is that?" Lawrence continued. "I said, 'That is so sweet. God, I hope that's true. For all of us, I really hope it's true, a lovely thought.'"

The "Allen" whom White was referring to was her husband of nearly 20 years, game show host Allen Ludden, who passed away from cancer in 1981. He was White's third husband and said to be the love of her life, as she never remarried in the four decades she lived without him.

At one time, White told People just how she felt about her late husband. "He was the most genuine man I've ever known," she said. "I first fell in love with his enthusiasm. He was interested in everything."

Betty White finally found true love with Allen Ludden

By the time Betty White met Allen Ludden, she had already been married twice before and wasn't ready to go through that again. Her first husband was military pilot Dick Barker and her second husband was agent Lane Allen, according to Biography. It was White's passions for games and game shows that led her to meet Ludden, who was the host of a celebrity-laden word game program called "Password." White had been appearing on game shows for years before she met Ludden. "I love games. Of course, I met my husband on 'Password,' so that one is extra special," she said at one time (via Parade). 

However, Ludden worked on "Password" in New York and White wanted to stay in California where she had lived since she was a child, so she rejected him at first, and kept rejecting him, something she eventually regretted. "I spent a whole year, wasted a whole year that Allen and I could have had together, saying, 'No, I wouldn't marry him. No, I won't. No, I won't leave California. No, I won't move to New York," White said (via Oprah.com).

White finally relented after Ludden wore an engagement ring around his neck and presented her with a jewel-encrusted stuffed bunny. That did the trick and White later told CNN she was wasn't sure she wanted to wed again, but then realized she'd be foolish if she didn't. "I just wasn't about to take another chance," White said (via People). "Then I thought, 'Am I going to live the rest of my life without this man?' Thank goodness we got married when we did."

Betty White and Allen Ludden had a loving and happy marriage

Although Betty White and Allen Ludden only had 18 years as man and wife, White always spoke of her late husband with love and was thrilled when he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right next to hers in 1988. When the star was unveiled, White told the crowd, "I cannot express what this day means to me. Don't be surprised if in the wee hours of the morning our stars are fooling around" (via People).

Upon White's passing, her longtime agent, Jeff Witjas released a statement confirming her death, and telling the world she couldn't wait to be with her Allen again. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much," Witjas said. "I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again" (via Deadline).