Tag Archives: Betty White

Carson Kressley Tests His Emcee Skills With Hero Dog Awards

 The inimitable Carson Kressley shows off his abilities as an awards show emcee tonight (11/11) on the American Humane Association’s “Hero Dog Awards,” which “isn’t exactly the Golden Globes, but it’s a start,” he says. 

It also happens to be Carson’s birthday, and the long-time animal advocate and doggie devotee couldn’t be happier about sharing his day with the group of corageous and care-giving canines who became finalists in this first annual event honoring top dogs. 

“It’s amazing to see these stories of rescue dogs on 9/11, dogs serving in Iraq” — appropriately enough, this Veterans Day — “and dogs helping people with disabilities live a more full life.  It runs the gamut,” he says. 

 Not only that, “The dogs were actually better behaved than most celebrities at awards shows.  No one called each other names or touched me inappropriately,” he says of the service animals present for the affair in the famous Beverly Hilton Hotel ballroom.   

 

As far as taking on hosting chores, Carson tells us, “I have people over all the time, and it was just like that, except Betty White and Peter Fonda were there.  I think the producers did a great job making a top-notch event.  I was shocked by how glamorous and well-run it turned out to be.”  The affair also attracted Julianne Hough, Michael Vartan, Pauley Perrette, Joey Lawrence, Victoria Stilwell, Faith Ford and other celebs.

Plus, “I got to have a TV moment with Betty White,” Carson says.  “Of course, she’s such a legend.  I got to interview her and I said, ‘You’re the most loved celebrity in Hollywood,’ and she said, ‘No I’m not.’  And I said, ‘Yes you are!’…

“She’s so professional, so old school, she had her script memorized,” he adds.  Nevertheless, there was a brief moment of confusion involving the Teleprompter, and Carson stepped forward onstage and “tapped her on the shoulder.  She turned around and said, ‘Who told you you could touch me?!’  And I was like, ‘What?’ And then she embraced me and I knew we were good to go,” he brightly relates.  The recent “Dancing With the Stars” contestant then danced the octogenarian Golden Girl off the stage.

Carson says he will soon be celebrating his birthday with a trip to Buenos Aires, “now that I know how to tango, and before I forget.”

Guide Dog Who Led Owner Down 78 Flights of Stairs on 9/11 Honored as Canine-loving Celebrities Turn Out for HERO DOG AWARDS

Carson Kressley, Darla the Cesar Spokesdog, Julianne Hough Hallmark Channel photo

Betty White, Julianne Hough, Michael Vartan, Pauley Perrette, Joey Lawrence, Victoria Stilwell, Faith Ford and a pack of other dog-loving celebrities turned out to honor extraordinary canines at the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards over the weekend.  There were lots of laughs with host Carson Kressley.  Presenters including Peter Fonda added memorable moments.  And performances by Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik were beautiful and moving.   But clearly, the celebrities of the night were Sadie, Zurich, Stacey Mae, Bino, Sage, Harley, Ricochet and the late, great guide dog Roselle, who safely led her blind partner, Michael Hingson, down 78 flights of stairs in Tower One of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Each Hero Dog’s story — with their amazing abilities and depth of devotion — is enough to bring tears to the eyes of animal lovers.  The show, airing Nov. 11 on Hallmark Channel, is not to be missed.

“I love dogs and any event that we can honor these great creatures, as much as they do for us, I want to be there for them,” Joey Lawrence told us before the start of the show that took place in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  “I think it’s cool.”  (By the way, Joey has a Black Labrador, an Australian Heeler and a German Shepherd at home.)  

The “Melissa & Joey” star presented honors to Emerging Hero Dog Ricochet — a Golden Retriever who surfs with special needs children and disabled adults.  Video of Ricochet’s story of finding her own calling after being released from a service dog training program went viral with 3.6 million views.

Betty White, looking smashing in red, talked with a twinkle about her beloved Pontiac — her Golden Retreiver — before giving a presentation that ended with her literally dancing into the wings with Carson Cressley.  Carson’s “Dancing With the Stars” pro partner, Anna Trebunskaya, was on hand in the audience to cheer him on.  

Cesar canine cuisine sponsored the event, and the company’s Westie  spokesdog was there to present one of the awards with Pauley Perrette.  The “NCIS” actress cuddled the pooch and pronounced him (actually, it’s a her) her favorite copresenter ever before noting that you’ve got to love an awards show where it’s okay to have animal fur on your clothes.

Guests dined on seabass and tenderloin of beef accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes and herb grilled tomatoes, and a chocolate mousse dessert garnished with a white chocolate cartoon dalmation and a dark chocolate Hero Dog bone.

We caught up with Hingson backstage after Roselle was proclaimed the top dog among top dogs.   

Michael Hingson and Roselle

“She was a great dog.  I’m just so, so happy she was honored.  We’re really excited,” he said.  Hingson’s 9/11 experience with his faithful guide leading him down 1,463 stairs — occasionally being petted and greeted by firefighters on their way up — led him into a new career.  He’s working with Guide Dogs for the Blind, and has traveled all over the country and abroad giving keynote speeches that promote dogs, teamwork and trust.  He’s delighted that the Hero Dog Awards will raise even more awareness of the incredible assets of these canine companions.  “I’m hoping to have a chance to do more work with the American Humane Association,” he says.

“I loved her and I miss her so much,” he adds of the yellow Lab, who died just this past summer.  “I tell people that whenever someone wants in heaven, they ring the bell at the door and she barks, telling St. Peter, ‘Better get that.'”

Here’s hoping that this Inaugural Hero Dog Awards event will be the first of many, many more.

It’s On! Betty White Vs. Cloris Leachman Ultimate Octogenarian Emmy Matchup

Cloris Leachman

Betty White

When the 63rd Prime Time Emmy Awards are presented Sept. 18, unfortunately, we won’t be seeing what could have been the Ultimate Octogenarian TV Awards Smackdown.  No, even though Emmy queens Betty White and Cloris Leachman are each nominees this year, they’re in different categories.  Betty is in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy category where she belongs, while Cloris is a Guest Star nominee despite being on nearly every episode of her show, because that’s how she’s billed, and that’s how she chose to submit herself for Emmy consideration.

Still, awards handicappers are wondering which TV legend will add to her Emmy haul this year — or whether both, or neither, will win.   Accordingly, here is a snapshot of  the grande dames – or “old broads” as Betty would say – and how they match up:

Cloris Leachman:  Born: April 30, 1926, Des Moines, IA
Emmy Nominations 22
Wins 9 (8 primetime, more than any other performer)
Unforgettable As: Frau Blücher in “Young Frankenstein,” Nurse Diesel in “High Anxiety,” Phyllis Lindstrom in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”

Betty White:  Born: January 17, 1922, Oak Park, IL
Emmy Nominations: 21
Wins: 7 (6 primetime; she was the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy)
Unforgettable As: Sue Ann Nivens of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Rose Nyland of “Golden Girls,” Sandra Bullock’s grandmother-in-law to-be in “The Proposal”

Cloris’ Other Honors Include: Academy Award (Best Supporting Actress, 1971, “The Last Picture Show”); induction into Television Hall of Fame; 1 Golden Globe, 1 Screen Actors Guild Award

Betty’s Other Honors Include:  3 Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, Induction into Television Hall of Fame

Current Job:  Cloris says she wasn’t looking to get back into series work when Fox’s “Raising Hope” came her way, but she immediately loved the character of dotty, awful Maw Maw, who goes around in her bra and orange stretch pants, and whose first response to her infant great-granddaughter was “get that dog off my couch!” 

Current Job:  Betty initially thought she was only going to do the pilot of TV Land’s “Hot in Cleveland” as “a heavy, a villain,” but found she enjoyed her costars so much, she wanted to stick around.  Her shady lady Polish caretaker character, Elka Ostrovsky, has developed into “one of the gang” and a driving force on the sitcom. 

Cloris’ Other Current/Recent:  Upcoming remake of “Gambit” with Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth, Grand Marshall of several Gay Pride parades, 2008 “Dancing With the Stars” as oldest contestant ever.

Betty’s Other Current/Recent:  Celebrity Frontwoman for AARP, Facebook campaign that led to SNL hosting, Snickers spot, upcoming show in which seniors punk younger people.

Quotes About Betty:  “I’m so sick of Betty White.  Never liked her,” “She’s such a slut.” 

Quote About Cloris:  “Is she still conscious?”  (They’re joking!)

Redford Connection:  Cloris appeared as a prostitute in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” (1969).

Redford Connection:  When Betty’s SAG Life Achievement Award was announced, reporter Gregg Kilday asked her if there were things in show business she’d like to do that she’s yet to do.  “With a sly, mischievous smile, White replied:  ‘Robert Redford.'” 

Ms. Leachman in a Nutshell:  Miss Chicago of 1946 and a Miss America contestant, she majored in drama at Illinois State University and Northwestern University, and studied with Elia Kazan at NY’s famous Actors Studio.  Plays wild comedy and searing drama with equal brilliance.  Married to Hollywood impresario George Englund from 1953 to 1979, Leachman had five children. (Son Bryan died of a drug overdose in 1986.)  Animal advocate.  Notoriously colorful Hollywood character — everyone seems to have a Cloris story — she’s done interviews while bathing.

Mrs. Ludden in a Nutshell:  Three months after graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Betty appeared on an experimental TV station in Los Angeles — in 1939.  She performed onstage and on the radio before joining the daily, live variety show “Hollywood on Television” with Al Jarvis in 1949.  “The Queen of Game Shows.”  The love of her life was third husband Allen Ludden, the “Password” emcee.  They were married from 1963 until his death in 1981, and she was stepmother to his children. A great pet lover and highly active in animal welfare for decades, Betty is a Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Trustee.

Less Known About Cloris:  “Joanne Woodward and I were the only women [film stars] who nursed our babies back when we were new mothers.  After that, nursing became popular and a lot of babies were much happier because of that.” 

Less Known About Betty: She has a sometimes-naughty sense of humor and there’s a clip of her telling “Golden Girls” castmate Rue McClanahan a blue joke that can be found on the internet.  Plays poker.

Cloris loves to eat: “Salad with my fingers”

Betty loves to eat: Hot dogs.

Cloris Deals With Age By:  Maintaining her vegetarian lifestyle, getting 10 hours of sleep a night.

Betty Deals With Age By:  Not thinking about it (she sleeps maybe five hours a night) and focusing on things that make her happy.