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Film honoring Betty White to air as scheduled

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(A7) A film honoring the life of actress Betty White, intended to mark her 100th birthday, will still be screened nationwide despite her death on FridayThe Hill reported on Saturday.

The film, “Betty White: 100 Years Young – a Birthday Celebration,” will play in nearly 900 theaters across the country on January 17, which would have been White’s birthday.

“Our hearts mourn today with the passing of Betty White. During the many years we worked with her, we developed a great love and admiration for Betty as a person, and as an accomplished entertainer,” the film’s producers, Steve Boettcher and Mike Trinklein, said in a statement from Fathom Events.

“We will go forward with our plans to show the film on January 17 in hopes our film will provide a way for all who loved her to celebrate her life — and experience what made her such a national treasure,” they added.

The popular actress passed away on Friday at the age of 99, just 17 days before her 100th birthday.

“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas told PEOPLE magazine in a statement.

“I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. 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,” he added.

White was gearing up to celebrate her 100th birthday and had been inviting her fans to purchase tickets for the movie special about her life.

The actress who was known for, among others, her roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, opened up to PEOPLE about how she was feeling about turning 100 years old in an interview last January.

“I’m so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age,” said the veteran actress. “It’s amazing.”

According to White, being “born a cockeyed optimist” was the key to her upbeat nature. “I got it from my mom, and that never changed,” she said. “I always find the positive.”

She also cracked a joke about the secret to her long life, telling PEOPLE, “I try to avoid anything green. I think it’s working.”

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