That card was the brain child of Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the directors of the Oscar-nominated Ginsburg documentary RBG

By Dave Quinn
February 15, 2019 03:48 PM
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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was back on the Supreme Court floor on Friday, for the first time since successfully undergoing cancer surgery in late December.

The 85-year-old participated in a regular closed-door conference meeting among her eight fellow justices, according to a court spokeswoman.

Just a day prior, Ginsburg was sent a get well card signed by three-dozen Hollywood A-listers including Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell, Glenn Close, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Helen Mirren, Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Regina King, Sam Elliott, Mahershala Ali, Rachel Weisz, Stephen Colbert and more.

That gesture was the brain child of Betsy West and Julie Cohen, the directors of the Oscar-nominated Ginsburg documentary RBG.

The two filmmakers have been collecting signatures for Ginsburg over the past few weeks while on the Hollywood awards show circuits, including at the Oscar nominees luncheon, the Directors and Producers Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the BAFTAs.

Courtesy Betsy West and Julie Cohen
Courtesy Betsy West and Julie Cohen
Kristen Bell signing Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s get-well card
Courtesy Betsy West and Julie Cohen

According to the Associated Press, they overnighted the finished product — photos of which were shared exclusively with PEOPLE — to Ginsburg on Thursday.

“After Justice Ginsburg’s surgery in December, pretty much every actor or filmmaker we met would ask us to pass on their personal good wishes to her,” Cohen and West said in a statement obtained by the AP. “We know RBG is a huge movie buff — from big Hollywood epics to small indie films — so we thought she’d get a kick out of a get well card from some of the biggest names in the film world.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty

Ginsburg, after previously surviving colon and pancreatic cancer, had to undergo surgery on Dec. 21 in New York City to remove two cancerous nodules in her lungs, which were found after a fall that broke three of her ribs.

Since leaving the hospital on Christmas Day, Ginsburg had been recovering at home where she continued to work on cases before the Supreme Court through briefs and transcripts of the oral arguments, according to a spokeswoman in January.

Her recuperation was going well, the spokeswoman said then.

On Feb. 4, Ginsburg was seen at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Washington Post reported, where her daughter-in-law — singer Patrice Michaels — was performing her one-woman show, Notorious RBG in Song, for a crowd of D.C.-area high school students brought in by the National Constitution Center.

The court previously said that, following her lung surgery, Ginsburg was cancer free.

Betsy West (left) and Julie Cohen
Dan MacMedan/Getty

RBG — which features interviews with Ginsburg, her family and her friends — is one of two recnet films telling the story of the Brooklyn-born justice’s life. On the Basis of Sex, a biopic that stars actress Felicity Jones as Ginsburg, opened in theaters last fall.

Meanwhile, West and Cohen told PEOPLE in a statement that they spoke with Ginsburg by phone after RBG‘s Oscar nomination came through in January.

“We were excited to be the ones to give Justice Ginsburg the good news that RBG has been nominated for Best Documentary,” they said.“She congratulated us and said the nomination was ‘eminently well-deserved.’”

From their conversation, they said Ginsburg sounded “strong and cheerful.” Indefatigable even in her ninth decade, she told them “she is writing opinions and continuing to stay on top of work.”

The Oscars airs Feb. 24 on ABC.