When you walk on to the set of Hot in Cleveland, you realize you have walked in to a very special place. That is because TV Land’s first scripted show stars Miss Betty White. When it comes to who is the hottest person in Hollywood these days, everyone knows it is her but when you meet her she is so humble about it. Here is a woman who has been in the business for over 60 years and has received several well deserved accolades like Emmys, Golden Globes, the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award to name a few, and yet is so grateful and polite to everyone she meets and talks to. In fact anyone who talks to her, she makes sure to give you her big beautiful smile and it just makes you feel good and it is so nice to see her so happy. And all of those feelings mutual on the set, everyone from the cast to the crew treat her with respect. Her co-stars Wendie Malick, Jane Leeves and Valerie Bertinelli all praised her and told me they enjoy working with her and you can tell they all feel honored to work with her. I mean how can you not be, there is no one like her and that is a good thing!
On Monday I had the honor talking to the woman who is not only Hot in Cleveland, but hot around the world and I got to talk to her about her hit sitcom and her role as Elka on it. When I asked her about being on a show again, she said, “It’s fun, well with these girls how can it not be fun! Wendie Mallick, Valerie Bertinelli and Janes Leeves are such pros, but they are also so delightful gals, that it is a joy!” Seeing her interact with three women again reminded me of another show she did and that is The Golden Girls, not because of that premise but because of the writing and chemistry between the cast. When I asked her that she told me, “You never expect to get that lucky again, but the writing that’s the bottom line. I mean actors can take all the credit in the world they want to, but if it isn’t on that page we can’t do it. And it is such a joy to have people like Susan Martin and the whole writing staff doing it for all of us!” You see what I mean, she is sincerely humble. I am sure every cast member and writer who works with her feels privileged to work with her and here she is telling me that it is such a joy to work them.
Now moving on I had to ask the 88 year old actress about the men that they have cast to play her boyfriends. So far she has been paired with The Dick Van Dyke Show’s Carl Reiner and The Carol Burnett Show’s Tim Conway. She then shared with me what she thought about working with them, “You can’t ask for much better than Carl Reiner and Tim Conway. You can ask for an easier person to work with than Tim Conway because I can’t keep a straight face when I am around him. But both of them are a delight. I hope they come back! And Elka my character hopes they come back!” Even though Tim’s episode hasn’t aired yet, I too can’t wait for them to come back. Because it is not many people that can make Betty White lose her straight face, and I want to see the bloopers as he succeeds by doing that! After that answer I then I had to know who would be her ultimate boyfriend, and you have to watch the above interview to find out.
As we know the last few years have been amazing for her, and I wanted to know what have been some of the highlights for her. She responded by saying, “Well I can’t believe at this age, and at this point and after 63 years in this wonderful business that I am still working, not only regularly but I’m having such a delightful time….And we just got picked up for 20 more episodes, that was a thrill.” And it is such a thrill that with everything she has going on that we will get to enjoy her for at least 20 more Wednesdays on TV Land starting in January.
My final question with her was about her wit and her brilliance and she concluded the interview being just as humble as when it started. She said, “Oh. it’s not brilliant, believe me. It’s I guess because I grew up an only child and my mom and dad thought and we had a wonderful time together. So it is hard for me to play things straight for too long. You know because you hear something and you just got to say it or your skin breaks out. So it’s a joy to be with the rest of these girls who all work the same way!”
I cannot begin to tell you what a joy and honor it was to interview a woman whose career I have loved since I saw her on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and continued to adore her on The Golden Girls and now on Hot in Cleveland plus everything between those three shows. So when I walked on that set, I like everyone else in the world just loved her and after meeting her and interviewing her I didn’t think it was possible but I love her even more. She is as nice and as sweet as she seems. Can you believe she thanked me several times for interviewing her about the show? I was so grateful to interview one of the very few people I have truly adored and admired since I was a very young child.
Now enough about me gushing about her, you need to watch her on TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland tonight and every Wednesday because just as she says it is a joy to be part of the show…it is a joy to watch her being part of the show!!!