By Emerson Pearson.

It’s almost been one year since Betty White sadly passed away at 99. Longtime friend and “Mama’s Family” costar Vicki Lawrence, 73, remembers their great memories and the lessons Betty’s generous heart taught her through a statement to People.

The memories start with an admission of how much Betty has taught her through the years about compassion.

“Betty, you taught me so much. I remember after our cat Sophie got run over by one of the neighbourhood kids on a bicycle, both of her front legs were broken and she looked like a little Frankenstein with splints. The kids were devastated.”

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The story continues with Betty declaring that Lawrence should take her injured dog to White’s orthopedic surgeon.

“My husband, Al [Schultz], said, ‘Go pour yourself a glass of wine and call Betty.’ You told me, ‘You’re not putting her down. Take her to my orthopedic surgeon.’ And then I grabbed Al’s credit card.

After I bought a dog from a pet store window, I got a lecture from you about rescue dogs who needed love. What was I thinking? I want you to know that every dog since then has been a rescue. We have two crazy mutts now.”

Lawrence continued to gush over White’s loveable sense of humour and ability to laugh at herself.

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“When we were doing ‘Mama’s Family’, you told me about a new pilot — ‘I think this is going to be the one,’ you said — and I lost you to ‘The Golden Girls’. Wow, it was the one. So many young people are still devoted to it.

I always remember how you loved bawdy and corny jokes. After you were once described as ‘a great broad,’ somebody asked, ‘Aren’t you offended by that?’ You said, ‘Oh, honey, that is such a great compliment! We’ve reached an age where we’ve seen and done enough and we’re allowed to be great broads.’ Bold, raunchy, been-around-the-block-so-many-times-you’re-dizzy broads.”

Finally, Lawrence grieves the loss of her great friend by explaining how she misses being able to converse with her beloved costar.

“I miss being able to pick up the phone and talk. I’m getting older too, and nobody tells you how complicated this half of your life is. Boy, would I be asking you a lot of questions. I always used to say, ‘I hope I grow up to be Betty White.’ I feel so lucky to have known you.”


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Ellen Bullock