Miami, and the rest of us, will miss Betty White

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How rough a year was 2021? Well, it took Betty White on its final day, darn it!

The last surviving “Golden Girl” cast member from the Miami-based show died Dec. 31 at 99.

White was known for her excellent comedic timing, But she missed one big mark — her 100th birthday in just 17 days.

During its seven-year run, the Golden Girls’ home was set in Miami at the fictitious address of 6151 Richmond St. But it flashed at the beginning of every episode, letting the audience know that they were about to be let in the door of a home where a bunch of funny women lived. White as Rose Nylund, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak, Rue Mcclanahan as Blanche Devereaux and Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo were a powerful television quartet — and they were doing it from Miami.

The show still has a tremendous cult following, as the Miami Herald points out. And deservedly so. Although most of the action took place inside the home, its tropical decor, a Florida room and the women’s floral wardrobes were a tip of the hat to the Magic City.

As the show advanced, the Miami setting faded, as the rapport between the four women became the show’s focus, with the veteran comedic actresses jockeying for laughs, which we, the audience, supplied in abundance. Who didn’t like White’s Rose, a woman of hilarious Norwegian descent? Her humor, warmth and ditziness made her lovable.

“Rose wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she wasn’t stupid. She was just eternally naive,” White once said. The actress used that combination to steal most of the scenes. And White was one of television’s best scene stealers. She often grabbed the spotlight on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Hot in Cleveland,” not to mention when she hosted “Saturday Night Live” at 88. Sad to see the last Golden Girl pass. We’ll miss her.

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