Betty White Fans Flood Twitter as Actress Turns 99, Says Will Be 'Up As Late As I Want'

Legendary American actress Betty White turned 99 today, January 17, and her fans have flooded social media to wish her a happy birthday.

The five-time Emmy Award-winner and Golden Girls star known for her brilliant comedic timing addressed the occasion herself in an email to the Associated Press.

"Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!" she wrote.

Her agent, Jeff Witjas, told Fox News that while the actress is happy to mark the occasion she will be playing things safe because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Witjas explained she would celebrate with hot dogs and french fries and receive a bouquet of fresh roses.

"Betty had planned to run a couple miles for her birthday but COVID has canceled this so she will remain safe in her home doing various activities," Witjas joked. He added that White "loves her fans."

They certainly appreciate her too, with the actress' name having trended on Twitter this week in anticipation of her turning 99.

Others, including some well-known names, have held their messages for the day itself.

Mulan actress Ming-Na Wen said White was her "spirit animal" and a "queen", as she paid tribute to White.

Singer Marie Osmond said White had taught her not to take herself "too seriously" and called the 99-year-old, "99% pure perfection!"

If I’ve learned anything from this woman, it’s “Don’t take yourself too seriously!!” You are 99% pure perfection! Happy 99th Birthday Betty White! 🥳🎉#Legendary #GodBlessYou #ILoveYou pic.twitter.com/6aVr84MgW6

— Marie Osmond (@marieosmond) January 17, 2021

Former New England Patriots player Benjamin Watson noted—a day after MLK Day—that white would have been a 7-year-old when Martin Luther King Jr. was born.

Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Walters, and Anne Frank were all born in the same year (1929)

And Betty White was already 7 years old at the time 🤯 https://t.co/NsFO7huLe1

— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) January 17, 2021

Author Steven W. Thrasher wished White a "very happy 99th" and pointed out that James Earl was turning 90 on the same day.

"These two nonagenarian artists represent the best of 20th century American art," he wrote.

January 17, 1922—Betty White is born

January 17, 1931—James Earl Jones is born

A very happy 99th birthday to Betty, ending her 90s, and a very happy 90th birthday to James Earl, starting his.

These two nonagenarian artists represent the best of 20th century American art. pic.twitter.com/GBI2NHrBnY

— Dr. Steven W. Thrasher (@thrasherxy) January 17, 2021

White's fellow Emmy Award-winning actress Jackée Harry shared a "throwback" photo.

Celebrating Betty White’s 99th birthday with this throwback.. #IconsOnly!! pic.twitter.com/kjd6NAOaK1

— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) January 17, 2021

Over the course of a career that has spanned over almost eight decades, the Illinois native has appeared or given her voice to over 30 movies and over 100 TV series and has earned five Emmy Awards in various categories, a Grammy Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Inducted in the Television Hall of Fame in 1985, White also has a star dedicated to her on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Earlier this week, White told ET she was working on the release of The Pet Set, White syndicated show from the 1970s that featured an array of Hollywood stars including James Stewart, Burt Reynolds, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore and Doris Day.

"You probably didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway," she said.

"What am I doing for my birthday? Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by COVID, so I am working on getting The Pet Set re-released, and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day."

Actress Betty White in Los Angeles
Actress Betty White turned 99 on January 12, 2021. Here, at age 95, she is pictured attending the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's (GLAZA) 45th Annual Beastly Ball at the Los Angeles Zoo on June 20, 2015. Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty