“What a time! It remains one of my favorite shows even 50 years later,” White said in a statement.
White, a longtime advocate for animal well-being and conservation, reveled in doing a show with her husband and friends that focused on her passion for animals, said TV producer and distributor Darren Wadyko, whose company shepherded the re-release.
Her celebrity pals were invited to bring their pets and get the chance to meet wild animals — sometimes to the guest’s dismay. Reese (“Touched By An Angel”) looked askance at White when she tried to coax her closer to a leopard, and Jim Nabors (“Gomer Pyle”) did likewise when a snake was involved.
Burnett initially hesitated when called on for the messy task of bottle-feeding a baby elephant, but then the formula and the quips flow. “These Playtex Nursers, you can’t beat ‘em,” she says.
White, however, was fearless, especially in encounters filmed at a Southern California training compound that provided animals for TV and movies. At one point, she’s seen snuggling with a 500-pound lion.
Other guests include Doris Day, Mary Tyler Moore, Burt Reynolds, Michael Landon and game show host Peter Marshall, who was interviewed for a documentary about the series that’s part of the DVD set.
“It’s fun to look back that many years, and how pretty we all were,” Marshall said with a laugh.