Life’s a party for the Hot in Cleveland ladies

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Photo by Margie Barron

“Hot in Cleveland” stars (from left) Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli, Betty White, and Jane Leeves.

Working on Hot in Cleveland is fun and exciting according to the stars of the hit TV Land show, Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, and Betty White. But it got even more exciting last week with a live broadcast. “I was so nervous. But I know we all have each other’s back,” Bertinelli said. “This is the way the television business started, with Betty White doing live shows. I’ve learned so much from her.”

The former One Day at a Time childstar, now 53, Valerie considers working on Hot in Cleveland a pleasure “because of the camaraderie of my coworkers. We’re more than friends, it’s a sisterhood. Without a doubt, the older you get the more you appreciate your female friends. And I consider Wendy, Jane, and Betty my girlfriends, my real friends. We support one another. They are absolutely my ‘sisters.’”

At the after-party she told me that she is proud of the way the show is “more real about how women treat each other, than any of those reality shows, seriously.” Valerie said she is not a fan of trashy reality shows like the “Real Housewives” franchise. “I don’t know what’s so real about them.”

Valerie is as real as they get, and beams that she’s had “an amazingly blessed life. But no matter how blessed your life is, sometimes you are going to have days that are rougher than others. I just wake up every morning and say ‘Lord, thank you, and today I’m going to choose to be happy, because you have blessed my life.’ Even when I’m feeling terrible, I have a choice. I can choose to be happy. Or I can let the day get to me. And I’ll try my best not to let the day get to me.” The sweet lady also fosters kittens to save them from shelters.

Photo by Jamie Pham

At the Beastly Ball (from left), LA Zoo director John Lewis; GLAZA Co-Chairman Betty White;
Pauley Perrette; and GLAZA president Connie Morgan.

Everyone with Hot in Cleveland loves animals, but Jane Leeves explained it’s not just about animals, “It’s a love of everything living. It’s a love of life and humanity that bonds all of us.” It’s a love of Betty White too, and all her costars are passionate about helping Betty’s favorite cause the LA Zoo, which just had its big fundraiser. Bertinelli was there to show her support and said, “It was wild.”

She and Betty were among the nearly 800 people who saw the animals and partied under the stars after hours at the Los Angeles Zoo’s 43rd Annual Beastly Ball. An amazing $1,138,000 was raised for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) which honored Wells Fargo and actress Pauley Perrette. Pauley is known to millions around the world as “Abby Sciuto” on CBS’s top-rated drama NCIS. As guests celebrated the Zoo’s forthcoming Rainforest of the Americas habitat, they took a safari stroll through the grounds observing Zoo inhabitants, watching animal feedings, chatting with keepers, and viewing small animals up close. They enjoyed entertainment by Central and South American music groups, dancing, and dining on bountiful food provided by some of L.A.’s most iconic restaurants.

GLAZA President Connie Morgan and Los Angeles Zoo Director John Lewis recognized Wells Fargo for its pivotal community philanthropy. Kevin Frazier, co-anchor of the entertainment show OMG! Insider, presented the Tom Mankiewicz Leadership Award to his friend Perrette, a long-time advocate of the Los Angeles Zoo. Among the other notables were Lisa Ling and comedian Jimmy Pardo, who loved partying with the legendary animal lover Betty White, who is the GLAZA Board of Trustees co-chair.

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