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Before Gilmore Girls, Sally Struthers was already a television icon. She starred on the landmark sitcom All in the Family in the ‘70s and the TV series based on 9 to 5 in the ‘80s. By the time she played Babette Dell, Struthers was known for her fundraising for Save the Children. But, her Gilmore Girls co-stars revealed Struthers had a hidden talent.

'Gilmore Girls': Sally Struthers holds up a fan on the red carpet
Sally Struthers | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Scott Patterson welcomed Rose Abdoo on his I Am All In podcast on Dec. 30. Reminiscing about the show with some of their other costars, both Patterson and Abdoo had stories about Struthers picking up grown men and carrying them around. 

Sally Struthers lifted ‘Gilmore Girls’ director Kenny Ortega

Kenny Ortega directed many episodes of Gilmore Girls. He also directed the High School Musical films, Hocus Pocus and Newsies, and choreographed movies like Xanadu and Dirty Dancing. On one long day on the Gilmore Girls set, Struthers broke the ice and Abdoo was there to see it. 

“She just went, ‘I can do a fireman’s carry,’” Abdoo said on I Am All In. “And she walked up to the director, Kenny Ortega, and she picked him up. She picked him up and put him around her like a little fox stole.”

Rose Abdoo admired Sally Struthers 

That incident could have gone badly for both Struthers and Ortega. But ,Struthers knew her own strength and did not disrupt Gilmore Girls filming. Abdoo admired her co-star at that moment. 

“He’s a regular sized man,” Abdoo said. “I mean, he’s a man. He’s not a small boy. And she picked him up and spun him around. I just remember thinking if I can even be, have ¼, 1/18 of her energy…”

Sally Struthers picked up Scott Patterson more than once on ‘Gilmore Girls’

Patterson had his own Sally Struthers story because he was the recipient of one of her “fireman’s carries.” There’s a bittersweet story behind it too.

“Sally Struthers is the strongest human being on planet Earth,” Patterson said. “Some of you might know this, but every time my birthday would hit, we’d be in the diner. Sept. 11 is my birthday and she knew I didn’t celebrate it for obvious reasons.”

Patterson may not feel right celebrating on the anniversary of 9/11. However, Struthers would do her darndest to lift his spirits. 

“And she would try to make me feel better,” Patterson continued. “She’d pick me up and I was going 215 at that time. And she picked me up and my butt would be here in her face and she’d go it’s his birthday, smack him in the ass. She’d take me around to everybody in the crew and the cast and they’d go whack.”