Appleton Native Spotlights Documentary on Betty White at Wildwood

Local News

She’s called the first lady of television, America’s sweetheart and the queen of T.V.

If you haven’t guessed who it is yet, an Appleton native is using this year’s Wildwood Film Festival to debut his feature film about the icon.

Whether you know her as Sue Ann from Mary Tyler Moore, Rose from the Golden Girls or Elka from Hot in Cleveland, we all know Betty.

But Appleton native Steve Boettcher took 10 years to not only develop a relationship with White but cast a light on who she really is when the t.v. cameras stop rolling.

“Betty is just exactly what you want her to be,” says Boettcher. “She’s spunky, she’s hilarious, she’s naughty and yet she’s very genuine and I think that’s what the film reflects, how she is; and how she is in person is really endearing.”

The feature premeired at Appleton’s very own Wildwood Film Festival which highlights the work of talented film makers in the state.

Not many people know that White had a special connection to Wisconsin.

“I did not know until meeting this filmmaker, that Betty White had a Wisconsin connection,” says Kurt Krauss, a board member for Wildwood. “Her husband, she’s only been married once, her husband is from Wisconsin and he’s buried here. It’s a pretty neat connection to somebody who might be the most famous woman in Hollywood.”

And as entertaining as it was to work with the funny lady, it wasn’t quite that simple.

“I think what’s really kind of fun about this project, but also challenging is this is America’s sweetheart, Betty White,” says Boettcher. “The first day of shooting you’re always kind of worried about screwing this up because everybody loves Betty.”

Nevertheless, there’s no place like home and there’s no one like Betty.

“iI’s really special for us to come to Appleton, coming back home where I’m from originally and bringing the film to Appleton,” says Boettcher. “That was pretty special.”

The Wildwood Film Festival continues Saturday at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

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