SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — This New Year’s Eve, we said goodbye to America’s golden girl. Beloved actress Betty White died Friday at the age of 99, just weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

Flowers and other tributes have been placed on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her talent touched the world, including our little corner of it.

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Betty White loved the zoo. Sacramento Zoo Director Jason Jacobs remembers his friend as the golden girl who fought for good.

“There is no one in the entertainment industry who has done more to be an advocate for animals,” Jacobs said. “She was a tireless ambassador and champion for animals.”

In 2009, White visited California’s capital city and used her fame to help fund the local zoo. 

“She understood the importance of zoos, saving species from extinction and what they meant to children,” Jacobs said.

She left a lasting impression as she’s done for decades.

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“She was one of a kind,” Jacobs said.

And she was fiercely funny, too.

“I have three cats and they’re all named after characters from The Golden Girls,” said local comedian Ronn Vigh. “I am a big Betty White fan.”

Vigh was inspired by Betty White’s ability – like any good comedian – to break the rules.

“There’s a lot of really positive things that they were doing in that show,” Vigh said. “Things you shouldn’t have been doing in the ’80s. They were for gay rights, animal rights, it went on to tackle issues like homelessness and aids.”

In March, Vigh will headline Laughs Unlimited in Sacramento.

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“She will definitely be in my heart,” he said. “She was [almost] 100 and she had a career in show business. That’s amazing and that’s worth celebrating, not getting sad.”