Valerie Bertinelli Said Betty White Was ‘Exactly the Way People Imagine’

There are celebrities that have a dazzling public image that’s later found to be nothing of the kind. Legendary actor Betty White, her Hot in Cleveland co-star Valerie Bertinelli recently said, was as wonderful as she seemed.

Bertinelli shared that White was a “light,” with an attitude that served as a powerful example to her.

'Hot in Cleveland' co-stars Valerie Bertinelli and Betty White attend Bertinelli's 2012 Hollywood Walk of Fame Star ceremony.
Betty White, right, stands by ‘Hot in Cleveland’ co-star Valerie Bertinelli’s side as Bertinelli is honored with a star at
a 2012 Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Valerie Bertinelli’s time on ‘Hot in Cleveland’ were ‘the best working years of my life’

In her recent memoir Enough Already: Learning to Love the Way I Am Today, Bertinelli ranked the TV Land series as her favorite acting job. The show “about three L.A.-based women working in show business whose plane to Paris makes an emergency landing in Cleveland, Ohio, … and rent a house that comes with an eccentric older caretaker” was a hit for the network. It aired from 2010 to 2015.

Cleveland, Bertinelli added, “was a gift that turned into five years of pure joy. … I was told the show was talking to [co-stars] Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick and that Betty White had already been cast as the caretaker. Though I didn’t know which part they wanted me to play, I heard the names of these other women, and said, ‘Okay, I’m in.'”

It was probably one of Bertinelli’s best professional decisions, as she noted: “The five years I spent on that series were the best working years of my life.”

Working with the show’s guest stars including Hollywood legends Carl Reiner, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, and Joan Rivers made the experience all the sweeter for Bertinelli.

Betty White constantly ‘inspired’ Bertinelli

Following White’s death in Dec. 2021, Bertinelli made an appearance on the Rachael Ray show to promote her memoir. The conversation turned to the late Golden Girls star.

Bertinelli was energized by her Cleveland co-star who, she writes in Enough Already, was amazing. She was “exactly the way people imagine — funny and quick-witted, with an outlook that inspired me every day I was around her.”

She told the show host: “To be able to experience five years of working with Betty White…who gets that lucky? Beyond her talent and how impeccable she was with timing and watching her work ethic, she was just one of those super ridiculously kind people.”

White’s positive attitude made the greatest impact on Bertinelli

The actor told Ray that White was rare in possessing a positivity that was contagious.

“She walked into a room—not making an entrance at all, she just walked into a room—and you knew she was there,” she added. “There was just a light around her because she was so kind and grateful for her life. And it was a huge lesson to be able to watch that and watch her just live in gratitude.”

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