Behind-The-Scene Secrets About The Golden Girls That Will Make You Think Differently About the Cast

The Golden Girls was a wildly celebrated sitcom that ran during the 1980s about a group of older women who lived in a house together. These women were sassy, loved life, and managed to get themselves into wild situations. The cast was made up of comedy legends, Broadway veterans, and it was clear to see the cast had chemistry with each other. The show lasted for seven seasons, and it is still shown on syndication almost everyday. The theme song is a complete heartwarming gesture about being a good friend that matches the shows premise and will probably be stuck in your head the moment you hear it. The women looked so close on-screen that it would probably be shocking to hear that they didn't get along behind the scenes. Beyond that, there are more shocking secrets about what went on behind the scenes that you will probably find hard to believe. Here's a few secrets about The Golden Girls that will make you question what you thought you knew about the show.

When The Cameras Stopped, So Did The Friendships

Rue McClanahan admitted that "Bea and I didn't have a lot of relationship going on. She wouldn't go to lunch with me unless Betty would go too." Bea Arthur's son even admitted that, "[She] wasn't really close to anybody. I'm not saying she was a loner, but she just liked to go home and read the paper." McClanahan hinted that Arthur and White probably didn't get along due to their differences in how they handled acting. McClanahan recounted a story of a drunken Arthur calling White a "c--t" at a lifetime achievement aware ceremony.

Jim Colucci Revealed Interesting Things About The Cast

Jim Colucci shared some great behind the scene info about the girls while interviewing them for his book. He claimed that when he went to Rue's house in New York City to do the interview, "she answered the door fresh from the shower, in a bathrobe that looked like it was about to fall open." When he interviewed Betty white, he said that she was incredibly "quick witted, with lots of great stories to share right off the top of her head." He then said that interviewing Bea Arthur was an interesting experience. He said that, "It was very tough to get her to agree to an interview at all. I practically had to phone stalk her." He was very much aware of her gruff and eccentric personality and he noted that after spending four hours with her, he was finally able to uncover her true self. "It took Bea a while to warm up to my questions because she really didn't remember much about the show-although she was extremely proud of certain moments, of course. But by the end, I felt like I had really bonded with her. I packed up my questions and put away my tape recorder, and then we shared a bottle of white wine in her living room, her bare feet up on the coffee table. And then when I was on my way, after giving her a hug, which at first surprised her, and then I felt her relax in my arms. It was really a touching moment, and I'll always treasure my day with her!"

Estelle Getty Had Stage Fright

Estelle Getty, who played the witty Sofia, actually had crippling stage fright. She admitted that she would blank during tape nights and forget all of her lines. Out of all the girls, Estelle had the least amount of experience with acting. She often claimed that she felt like a phone in comparison to her co-stars, and she said that she had anxiety thinking that the audience could tell she was faking.


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Bea Arthur Actually Hated Cheesecake

Golden Girls had four main characters, five if you count the cheesecake. Cheesecake was a huge part of the show, as the girls constantly ate the creamy dessert late at night at their kitchen table. In fact, over 100 cheesecakes were eaten during the taping of the show, and Bea Arthur absolutely loathed the dessert.

Estelle Getty Had a Severe Phobia Of Death

While promoting her book, Betty White revealed that her co-star, Estelle Getty, hated doing any scene involving death and funerals. White claimed that, "Death frightened her very much. It was almost a phobia!" Sadly, Getty was the first of the group to pass. She suffered from Lewy body dementia and died shortly before her 85th birthday.

Estelle Had To Go Under a Major Makeover

Getty was surprisingly younger than both Bea Arthur who played her daughter, and Betty White. In fact, she underwent a three-hour transformation to become the 80-year old Sicilian. Makeup artist, Maurice Stein told Orange Coast Magazine, that "When she first sits down in the chair, she's just Estelle, a nice, lovely lady. But as the makeup goes on, she becomes this snappy old lady, wise-cracking and crusty. She seems to slum down in her chair and really get into character. By the time she gets up from her chair, I have Sophia on my hands." The crew had an even tougher job transforming her in Season 2 when she came back from a break rocking a new facelift.

Bea Arthur Was Basically The Reason The Show Ended

After the fifth season, Bea Arthur decided she got tired of playing her role and decided to leave. The producers convinced her to stay for another two seasons, at the end of which Bea had got up and left, essentially putting an end to the show. It seems that Arthur had a knack for ending shows. "Maude", a series she starred on along Rue McClanahan also ended when she said her farewells.


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The Roles Were Reversed

Betty White was supposed to play Blanche, and Rue McClanahan was supposed to play Rose. They decided to switch roles, and Rue even admitted that it would "have been painful to play Rose" and that she wouldn't have known where to start. In fact, it can be said through interviews that Rue's personality matches that of Blanche. She even said when asked what she thought when the producers were interested in her when casting the series, "How smart of them to consider me!" Sounds like a Blanche-like response to us!

Rue McClanahan Kept All Of Blanche’s Clothes

Actress Rue McClanahan had a special clause in her contract stating she gets to keep all of Blanche’s outfits that she wore in the show. She accumulated so much clothing she had to transform her her kitchen into a closet room. Rue even kept all of the lingerie Blanche wore, and she decided to create her own clothing line at one point.

Bea Arthur Had issues With Her Wardrobe

The designer of the show added huge chunky earrings for Beas character to add interest. The only issue with this was that she didn’t have her ears pierced, so she had to wear clip on earrings. She said in an interview the pain and numbness in her ears after a long day of shooting were hard on her.

Betty White Was The Oldest Golden Girl

Even though she played the youngest character, Betty White was actually the oldest one of all the cast. Betty seems to stay a step ahead of father time.


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The Show Had Royal Fans

It's hard to picture someone as prim and proper as the Queen Elizabeth enjoying the racy and sexual dialogue of the show, but it seems that she was one of their biggest fans. In 1988, the cast was asked to perform a live showing for the Queen and a few guests at the London Palladium. Bea Arthur admitted that they ended up censoring some of the dialogue for the live show, but it seemed like the Queen enjoyed dirty humor.

Many Famous Faces Graced The Set

Over it's seven year run, the sitcom saw plenty of guest stars stop by for an appearance. The show saw George Clooney, Quentin Tarentino and Burt Reynolds. Don Cheadle was casted in the spin-off, "Golden Palace", which only lasted a season before ending.

There Was Never An Accent

Major fans of the show may notice that Blanche, who is from Atlanta, Georgia, did not really have a Southern accent in the pilot. This is because the director, Jay Sandrich, told her to rely on her "regular Oklahoma accent." When director, Paul Bogart, came on board, he wanted her to use a Southern accent. Rue later revealed that she created an exaggerated take on the sultry Southern accent-one she thought might easily lure men.


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The Golden Girls Almost Had A Gay Butler

Initially, there was a character, Coco Davis, who was to play the girls gay butler/cook.  He was played by actor Charles Levin and was actually named after the producers' dogs. He appeared in the pilot episode and his character was well received, but ultimately those in charge decided to cut the character in order to meet the required time limits.

Bea Arthur Was A Marine

Before she found a career in front of the camera, Bea Arthur had an extremely different job title. She was a United States Marine, and she was one of the first members of the Women's Reserve before World War II. She was both a typist and a truck driver and her hobbies listed on her volunteer application was hunting with a ".22 caliber rifle and a bow and arrow." She was certainly not a woman to mess with.

Every Cast Member Won An Emmy

The Show received over 60 Emmy nominations throughout it’s run. Each of the four main actresses took home an Emmy, a feat that no other show at the time managed to achieve. The only other two shows who managed to accomplish this over the years is "All In the Family", and "Will & Grace".

Four Girls And Three Chairs

Did you ever notice the kitchen table had only three chairs, even though the house has four tenants? The missing chair is intentional as not to have one of the girls sitting with her back to the camera.


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The Interactions Were Inspired By Life

Brandon Tartikoff, an NBC executive, was visiting his elderly aunt when he saw her interaction with her friends and neighbors. He thought it would be a good idea for a TV show and ran with idea.

The Set Was Recycled

The famous kitchen set was in the show ‘It Takes Two’ before being used on ‘Golden Girls’. The production did a makeover to match the theme of the show better.

The Show Was Actually Pretty Controversial

The show raised some controversial issues, such as gay marriage, teen pregnancy, and even abortion. The fact that this got to run on television is in itself astounding, proving that the show was way beyond it's time. It's easy to see why the relatable ladies captivated such a large audience.

Bea Was An Activist

Bea Arthur was a passionate activist. Her main causes were LGBTQ, the elderly, woman’s rights and the Jewish. She was also involved with PETA. After her death, she left a large sum of money to help homeless LGBT youth.


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Betty White Has The Longest Acting Career

Betty White holds the Guinness record for the longest acting career for a female on television. She launched her first TV series in the 1950s and has since appeared in countless shows and movies.

Betty White Is Way Into Game Shows

The actress was really into game shows, and she appeared on the game show, "Super Password", before starring on The Golden Girls, and it was said she was a very competitive force. She appeared on the show so many times she married the host. Between takes, Rue and Berry would entertain each other with word games and riddles to make the tedious hours pass by.

The World Loved Golden Girls

The show was a huge hit within the United States, but it was also a hit in over 60 countries in the world. There were even local versions of the show made in England, Russia, and Greece.

Bea Arthur Was A Lounge Singer

Back when she was young, Bea Arthur was a lounge singer, but every time she got on stage, the audience laughed because she was so tall and had a deep voice. The lounge manager suggested she tried comedy, cause she was already making people laugh.