Betty White Trends on Twitter for Her Birthday and Fans Panicked That She Had Died

Many Betty White fans felt an immense sense of relief preceded by a rush of panic Thursday morning when they saw the legendary actress' name tending on Twitter and assumed the worst.

It turns out White was the number one trending topic on the social media platform because Thursday, Jan. 19 is her 97th birthday — something that delighted fans who initially thought the actress to have passed away.

Along with celebratory posts dedicated to the Golden Girls star, many fans expressed their relief on Twitter.

"Betty White's birthday is always a very stressful 10 seconds looking at the trending topics," one Twitter user wrote to thousands of retweets and likes.

"When I saw Betty White trending and thought 2019 came for her but find out she's turning 97 today," someone else wrote alongside a famous GIF from America's Next Top Model of Ebony crying first, then giving out high-fives.

"I saw Betty White trending and almost had a heart attack. It turns out today is her Birthday. Happy Birthday, Betty!" someone else said.

"When I see Betty White is trending on twitter..." someone wrote with a GIF of a nervous-looking Raven-Symone from That's So Raven.

Others noted that it was also James Earl Jones' 88th birthday.

"Were gonna have to change the hashtags or something because waking up to Betty White and James Earl Jones trending is much to[o] much. Happy birthday to them both!!!" someone wrote.

Others wondered White's secret to longevity, something she's spoken about often in recent years. Just before her 96th birthday last year, she told Parade that vodka and hot dogs are how she's stayed healthy for so many years.

"Probably in that order," she added.

"Accentuate the positive, not the negative," White said. "It sounds so trite, but a lot of people will pick out something to complain about, rather than say, 'Hey, that was great!' It's not hard to find great stuff if you look."

In 2012, she told PEOPLE that she "should" have better eating habits, "But hot dogs and Red Vines and potato chips and French fries are my favorite foods."


Of course, she said she has a method to working those calories off: "I have a two-story house and a very bad memory," she joked. "I'm up and down those stairs all the time."

White has been a Hollywood staple since the 1950s when she snagged her first big TV role in Life With Elizabeth — but her very first role was in the 1945 short film Time to Kill. Over the years, White has starred on TV series after TV series, including memorable runs on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Love Boat, The Golden Girls, Boston Legal and most recently, Hot in Cleveland.