10:15 PM EDT 08/25/2014
Originally posted 04/17/2009 12:30PM
All sorts of progress is being made in Nancy O'Dell's household these days: The Access Hollywood co-host, who injured her knee while rehearsing for Dancing with the Stars, is making strides after surgery last month – and her daughter Ashby, 22 months, is learning how to talk.
"Her first word was 'apple,' " says O'Dell, whose book, Full of Life, hit bookstores this week. "I opened the fridge and she pointed at an apple and just blurted it out. I started jumping up and down and screaming and dancing! She must think apple is the most delicious fruit on the planet by my reaction."
After her "apple" epiphany, little Ashby just kept going from there. "Now, she is repeating everything we say like a parrot," says O'Dell. "She loves to say 'I did it' when she completes a task. But my favorite is when she asks me for something and says, 'Mama, peeeaaassse!' It sounds so sweet, I pretty much give her anything she wants."
Originally posted 03/24/2009 06:10PM
She's not quite ready to hit the dance floor yet, but Nancy O'Dell is on the path to recovery!
The Access Hollywood co-host, who had to pull out of Dancing with the Stars before the season premiere earlier this month, is resting at home after knee surgery.
"I feel pretty good considering I just had surgery a few days ago!" O'Dell tells PEOPLE, revealing she had torn her meniscus in two places and had arthroscopic knee surgery March 20.
Originally posted 06/12/2008 12:25PM
Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell is mourning the loss of her mother, Betty, who died at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend after a battle with ALS. She was 74.
Elizabeth "Betty" Sawyer Humphries, a lifelong South Carolinian and a retired schoolteacher, was diagnosed with ALS, a neuromuscular disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, last November. In April, O'Dell opened up about her mom's illness with the hope of raising awareness. "Right now, there is no cure,” she told PEOPLE at the time.
In a statement on Access Hollywood's Web site, Betty was remembered as "relentlessly positive, with a strong faith in God and never an unkind word. The silver linings in this deeply painful time for Nancy are these – it was quick after diagnosis so Betty didn’t suffer much and thus her mom will be remembered as she was known: full of life and love."
Originally posted 04/24/2008 08:50AM
Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell says her mother is suffering from Lou Gehrig's Disease – and the TV host hopes that going public with the "devastating" ordeal may help others.
Originally posted 04/12/2008 09:30AM
New mom Halle Berry is getting by with a little help from a friend who knows something about parenting – and Hollywood.
"We've e-mailed, and she's loving motherhood," Nancy O'Dell told PEOPLE at Thursday's National Lampoon's One, Two, Many premiere in Hollywood. Berry, 41, gave birth to daughter Nahla Ariela Aubry last month.
"She is loving every minute of it, couldn't be any happier," Access Hollywood host O'Dell, who is friends with Berry, says. "She's going to be such a great mom."
O'Dell, 42, who herself gave birth last June to daughter Ashby Grace, sent Berry a lengthy e-mail of motherly advice – and the Oscar-winning actress replied with thanks.
"I sent her a whole page e-mail about things I wish friends had told me," O'Dell says. "I said, 'I wish people had given me this advice. They didn't, so I'm going to give it to you.' She was appreciative, really appreciative."
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!