March 22, 2009

TV documentary recounts Betty Ford’s life

A museum director says the life of former first lady Betty Ford, who is the focus of a new TV documentary, has been full of great accomplishments.

Elaine Didier, director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, said the widow of the late U.S. President Gerald R. Ford has touched the lives of many people through her candid approach to dealing with her substance abuse and cancer, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.

I hear people who come from all walks of life who talk about her with tears in their eyes, who feel they are alive because of what she's done, Didier said.

The PBS documentary about her life, Betty Ford: The Real Deal, airs Sunday and Tuesday.

The documentary, which will follow Ford's rise from modern dancer to first lady, is part of a PBS series on wives of U.S. presidents.

The documentary's producer, Mary Beth Durkin, told the Free Press the show should appeal to modern women.

I don't think women today have any different stresses, really, than Betty Ford did, she said.