Betty White

Steve Martin Recalls His First Time Meeting Betty White

The actor and comedian shared the sweet story of meeting White just one day before the world learned White had died

Jon Kopaloff

Steve Martin posted a touching story about meeting Betty White for the first time on Thursday, just one day before the world learned that White had died at age 99.

The "Only Murders in the Building" star, 76, shared the story with his Twitter followers, noting that the meeting between the two comedy legends took place in Los Angeles in 1974.

"In 1974, I was an obscure opening act for Linda Ronstadt at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Passing through the lobby before the show, I saw Betty White and her husband Allen Ludden waiting in line," Martin wrote.

"I loved Betty White, so I went up to them: 'I’m so honored to meet you both.' And then I said, 'Isn’t Linda great?'" he continued.

What Martin, who was then only beginning his comedy career, didn't expect was to hear White praise him.

"She said, 'We came to see you,'" Martin wrote. "I said, 'Why?'"

"'Because we heard you were funny,'" White told him.

Martin, who would go on to make audiences laugh in classic comedies including "The Jerk," "Three Amigos" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," concluded his story by recalling the joy he felt after White gave him her vote of confidence.

"I was elated," he wrote.

White, who charmed television audiences playing ditzy widow Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls,” sex-obsessed TV host Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and salty retiree Elka Ostrovsky on “Hot in Cleveland," passed away less than three weeks shy of her much-anticipated 100th birthday.

White's Hollywood friends and former co-stars, including Ryan Reynolds and Valerie Bertinelli, reacted to the news of her death by sharing emotional tributes on social media, with many thanking White for all the laughter she inspired during her seven-decade career.

"The world looks different now,” Reynolds, who starred with White in the 2009 comedy "The Proposal," wrote in a tribute he shared on Twitter.

“She was great at defying expectation,” Reynolds continued. “She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”

“Rest in peace, sweet Betty," wrote Bertinelli, who co-starred alongside White in “Hot In Cleveland. "My God, how bright heaven must be right now.”

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