The Academy Awards were held last night, honoring the best of the film industry and the people who work hard to make movies happen — including paying tribute to artists who have recently left us.
The Oscars had their annual “in memoriam” segment, acknowledging the many actors, directors, producers and others who have died in the past year.
And a few artists even got a special tribute — including the late great Betty White, who was honored by Jamie Lee Curtis and an adorable rescue puppy.
White died on December 31 at the of 99, just weeks before her 100th birthday. The groundbreaking comedic actress was best known for her beloved roles on shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, along with films like The Proposal.
So when they Oscars paid tribute to the late star, they made sure to do it with animals in mind. White was among a handful of stars — along with groundbreaking Oscar-winner Sidney Poitier and Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman — who got a special moment during the in memoriam segment.
The legendary Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis took the stage to pay tribute to Betty White — along with an adorable rescue dog named Mac-n-Cheese.
“She was not only a Golden Girl, she was a legend who brightened every room she walked in and brought a smile to the faces of all who watched her on the screen,” Curtis says, as “Thank You For Being a Friend,” the theme from The Golden Girls, plays on stage.
“And day in and day out for almost a century, she was a woman who cared so much for not just her two-legged friends but for animals just like this.”
The actress encourages people wishing to honor Betty White’s legacy to consider adopting a rescue dog.
“So the greatest gift you could give Betty White is to open your heart and your home and adopt a rescue dog just like Mac-N-Cheese from Paw Works. So thank you, Betty, thank you for being a friend to us all.”
According to a post from Paw Works, Mac-n-Cheese is currently available for adoption.
While she may be gone, Betty White left quite a legacy and is still inspiring people to be kind to animals.
After her passing, fans and animal lovers were moved to do something in her honor and began the “Betty White Challenge,” encouraging people to donate five dollars to their favorite animal rescue. Shelters across the country saw a big increase in donations on White’s 100th birthday.
In addition to paying tribute to Betty White on stage, Jamie Lee Curtis paid tribute to her on the red carpet. Many stars use their Oscars dress to make a big statement, and the 63-year-old used hers to further honor White’s legacy by choosing an animal rights activist as her designer.
“Betty White was an animal rights activist and when I knew I was going to make a statement about her, I went to Stella McCartney, who is an animals right activist,” Curtis told Access Hollywood, per Us Magazine.
“They made me this dress. I feel like it’s telling Betty’s story.”
Curtis is a noted animal lover herself. According to PETA, she has spoken out against animal dissection, and became more involved with animal rights thanks to her daughter, who has been a vegan since she was 5.
The Freaky Friday star also adopted her own rescue puppy named Runi from Perfect Pet Rescue.
“He has transformed our family as only a rescued animal can,” she wrote on Twitter in 2017.
What a sweet tribute. Thank you to Jamie Lee Curtis and the Academy for paying tribute to the late great Betty White, and for encouraging people to open their hearts and homes to rescue animals.
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