When legendary actor and comedian Betty White turns 99 on January 17, she’ll be celebrating her quarantine birthday with a pair of unconventional party guests. “What am I doing for my birthday? Feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day,” she told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Thursday.
There's no need to be alarmed: the Golden Girls star and nonagenarian hasn’t lost her marbles. "Betty has [a] beautiful backyard with a number of wild animals visiting," a press representative told TODAY via email back in May. "Two ducks always come by to say hello. They waddle up to her glass door and look in" — which is so wholesome and utterly delightful. Maybe she’ll feed them some fowl-friendly cake on the big day.
White isn’t celebrating her landmark birthday in a more monumental way due to the pandemic, obviously. But — bless her — the comedy legend is taking coronavirus and social distancing very seriously. The same rep told TODAY that there’s "no one permitted in [her home] except those who must.” Stay vigilant, Betty! We need you to keep far, far away from other people until you’ve had both your vaccine doses, young lady.
For what it’s worth, White seems unphased by her quarantine birthday. "I am blessed with good health, so turning 99 is no different than turning 98,” she recently told People. What keeps the iconic Capricorn young at heart? "A sense of humor," she said. "Don't take yourself too seriously.”
In the before-times, White maintained a habit of running a mile each morning, but her exercise regimen was disrupted by COVID-19. So when she’s not “bringing food to my animal friends," White told ET, she stays busy “working on getting Pet Set re-released.”
Betty White’s Pet Set is a show from the early 1970s, where celebrities like Carol Burnett, Burt Reynolds, and Mary Tyler Moore would introduce viewers to their pets. Some were the normal sort (cats, dogs, birds, horses), but other stars kept exotic animals like elephants, gorillas, tigers, kangaroos, and zebras. Sounds like an early predecessor to Tiger King, right? To mark its 50th anniversary, Pet Set is being re-released digitally and on DVD on February 23.
Here’s hoping this blasted pandemic blows over in the next 12 months, and White gets to celebrate her centennial birthday with an opulent, blowout bash. But don’t worry about her too much: "The animal community is watching over her," her rep told TODAY. "The virus is afraid of Betty!"