“The Golden Girls” was comedy gold and made TV history.
It opens with the iconic song, “Thank You For Being A Friend,” sung by Cynthia Fee.
While the song is catchy and shows Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur), Rose Nylund (Betty White), Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan), and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) getting along and hugging on-screen, behind the scenes was a very different story.
I guess Smash Mouth’s lyric, “All that glitters is gold,” wasn’t quite true.
Things Weren’t Golden BTS Of “The Golden Girls”
In fact, according to a new report, what went on behind the scenes on the set of “Golden Girls” was FARRRR from golden.
During the most recent episode of “The Originals” podcast, new details surrounding certain cast members’ feelings toward White are unearthed.
The podcast is hosted by entertainment journalist Andrew Goldman. In the episode, Goldman speaks to ‘Golden Girls’ casting director, Joel Thurm.
Thurm recounts how three of the four leading ladies, more specifically Arthur, felt about White.
As a die-hard ‘Golden Girl’ fan, this breaks my heart to report, but these are the cold hard facts according to Thurm.
“Literally Bea Arthur, who I cast in something else later on, just said, ‘Oh, she’s [White] a f–king c–t,’ using that word,” Thurm said on the podcast.
Bea Arthur Reportedly Called Betty White A Derogatory Term
The casting director also goes into more detail regarding the BTS animosity on the ‘GG’ set in his upcoming book, “Sex, Drugs, & Pilot Season: Confessions of a Casting Director.”
Podcast host Goldman reiterated what Thurm told him asking, “Bea Arthur called Betty White a C-word?”
Thurm replied, “Yeah, she called her the C-word. I mean, I heard that with my own ears.”
And it wasn’t just Arthur who used the disparaging word toward White, McClanahan did as well.
“And by the way, so did Rue McClanahan. Rue McClanahan said it to me in Joe Allen’s [restaurant]; Bea Arthur [when she was] on the set of ‘Beggars and Choosers,’” he dished.
While talking to the New York Post, Goldman recalled being shocked by Thurm’s admissions.
“It was a huge surprise to me,” Goldman told the outlet. “I know there are people who are deeply into ‘The Golden Girls’ lore and there’s been some talk of this in the past, but actually interviewing Joel, who had a front seat for all of this action, and actually spoke to both of the stars and heard them say very similar things, was a total shock to me.”
Betty White Might’ve Not Been So Innocent Herself
Yeah, me too!
Here’s the catch, Thurm says White wasn’t as innocent as she appeared to be on TV.
Getty, who played Dorothy’s mother, Sophia, on “The Golden Girls,” began to develop Lewy Body Dementia while filming the sitcom.
She started having trouble remembering her lines, Thurm recalled, so, she started to write them down on her hand.
“Betty White would make fun of her in front of the live audience,” said Thurm. “That may seem like a minor transgression, but it really does get to you … I have no idea how Estelle Getty felt, but I know the other two did not like [White] at all.”
McClanahan previously explained how Arthur would call White the C-word in an interview before her death in 2010.
White had her own reasons why her co-star may have not been fond of her.
During a 2011 interview at “TimesTalk,” White explained, She [Arthur] was not that fond of me. She found me a pain in the neck sometimes. It was my positive attitude — and that made Bea mad sometimes. Sometimes if I was happy, she’d be furious.”
Fans also presumed Arthur had such a distaste for White given that she was the first of the four cast members to be nominated for the Best Actress Emmy Award.
White passed away on December 31, 2021, just 19 days shy of her 100th birthday.