Bay Area remembers Betty White, actress and animal advocate

"I'm devastated. She was my hero, such a comic genius."
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area is reacting to the passing of Betty White. From animal advocates who knew her to stage performers, everyone agrees Betty White was the real deal.

"I'm devastated. She was my hero, such a comic genius," said D'arcy Drollinger.

White really was a hero to D'arcy Drollinger, he's channeled her for the past seven years portraying Rose Nylund in the annual Golden Girls Live drag show in San Francisco.

Drollinger said White made it look easy and believable no matter who she was playing.

RELATED: Betty White, America's 'Golden Girl,' dies at 99
EMBED More News Videos

Betty White, the award-winning actress and comedian famed for her roles on "The Golden Girls" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," has died at age 99, according to The Associated Press

"I think Betty White is amazing. She could could play any character from b**** to s*** to airhead."

The beloved trailblazing actress loved her craft but loved animals even more.

Marin Humane CEO Nancy Mckenney first met Betty White in the 1990s at a fundraiser for Seattle's Humane Society.

RELATED: Ryan Reynolds responds to Betty White saying he can't get over her, tweets grief after her death

"We had this fundraiser, she was so generous with her time everyone in awe she was in our midst," said McKenney.

The founders of Santa Rosa's Safari West animal habitat say White was the real deal.

"There are a lot of activists, but she was an advocate. She stayed the course she did lots of good for many years for all sorts of animals," said Safari West co-founder Peter Lang.

RELATED: Betty White shares her secret to happiness ahead of turning 100 years young
EMBED More News Videos

Betty White's secret to longevity? The beloved actress, who is just weeks away from turning 100 years young, joked that she tries "to avoid anything green" in her diet.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium tweeted; "Thank you Betty for your boundless passion for wildlife and your support of our mission of ocean conservation."

To Betty, we say thank you for the laughs and for a life well lived.

"We lost a true original and all I could say it should inspire us to be a little like Betty White," said Drollinger.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.