Pieces of Betty White's legacy were recently sold at an auction — including one especially notable item. Starting on Sept. 23, Julien's Auctions offered up more than 1,600 lots from the TV icon's life and career during a three-day event in Beverly Hills (and online). Not only was every item sold, but the top-selling piece also far exceeded bid expectations: White's original director's chair from The Golden Girls went for $76,800. Its original estimate was $1,000. Raising $4 million in total, other items at the auction included awards, scripts, wardrobe and memorabilia from her iconic television shows and films, as well as furnishings, artwork, fine jewelry, household and personal items from her beloved homes in Brentwood and Carmel, California.
The actress, famed for her roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, on which she played the lovable Rose Nylund during the show's run from 1985–92, died on Dec. 31, 2021, just 17 days before her 100th birthday.Speaking to PEOPLE in January 2021, White said that "having a sense of humor" is the key to a long and happy life: "Just looking at the positive side and not dwelling on the downside. [It] takes up too much energy being negative."
And that had been her motto for years. In 1999, she told PEOPLE she looked to make the most of every day. "You better realize how good life is while it's happening,"
she said. "Because before you know it, it will all be gone."
Here are some of the beloved pieces that sold big at the special auction.
Her Wedding Ring: Sold for $25,600. The estimated starting bid was $600-800.
White (with husband Allen Ludden on their 1963 wedding day) wore a gold-leaf and diamond band.