played by Kathy Bates

Character Bio

"Lucky, unlucky, I don't know. I'm unlucky I ran through three husbands. I'm lucky I got to retire early off the insurance. I'm unlucky my son set fire to the house. I'm lucky I've never had a urinary tract infection. I don't even care if it works out fair in the end. I'm sure it doesn't. I still have to haul my own ass out of bed in the morning."

Bettina is Ruth Fisher's only close girlfriend. They met at the home of Ruth's sister, Sarah, whom Bettina was helping though Vicodin withdrawal. "She begged me to make sure she got through it no matter what," Bettina explained and despite her qualms, Ruth pitched in to help. As she watched Bettina set about her task - lashing Sarah to her bed, rooting out her hidden drug vials and threatening to tape her "yappy mouth" shut - Ruth quickly came to admire her strength and directness.

Like Ruth, Bettina has had plenty of heartache in her life. Her first husband died at the age of thirty-five after a ten-year battle with cancer; her third husband succumbed to an undiagnosed heart defect at forty-six. The one in between was, as Bettina puts it, "just a dog who tried to sleep with every one of my girlfriends." In addition her daughter, who like Ruth was once a devotee of The Plan, is a "nut job" who got into legal trouble for "hoarding firearms in a compound in Montana."

Unlike Ruth, however, Bettina doesn't dwell on life's low points. She firmly believes in letting go of past mistakes and has counseled Ruth to do the same. She also believes in creating one's own fun and has gotten Ruth to do things - get her first-ever massage, shoplift a pricey lipstick - she would never have dared on her own. Bettina has a simple credo: "I think if you're afraid of something? It means you should probably do it."

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