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The Truth of What Happened Behind-the-Scenes of ‘The Golden Girls’

There’s honestly no one more charming, witty, and surprisingly raunchy than the Golden Girls. Nowadays, the best we can do to relive the “golden” days is to stream The Golden Girls on Hulu. And, in doing so, many questions easily pop up. While Rose, Blanche, Dorothy, and Sophia may have been best friends, did the actors get along behind-the-scenes? In fact, we’re not the only ones to ask this question. Gossip spreads through the mouths of Hollywood, and there were rumors that Betty White did not really get along with her castmates. Even still, the series lasted a historic seven seasons, during which all four leads won Emmy awards. But did Betty, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty get along?

When ‘The Golden Girls’ began, all four Golden Girls got along swimmingly.
If there were any hard feelings between the iconic Golden Girls, they didn’t begin immediately. When Golden Girls was in its casting process, producers originally tried Betty White for the sensual Blanche Deveraux and Rue McClellan for the dim-witted Rose. However, both women felt they were better suited for the opposite roles, which turned out to be the case.

While Rue and Betty were dear friends even before filming, since they had recently worked on Mama’s Family together, it was Bea Arthur who brought everyone together. Bea only agreed to do The Golden Girls after Rue and Betty were cast in their respective roles. Rue was actually tasked with convincing Bea to do the show. The two of them had worked together in Maude, so their friendship carried through.

Estelle Getty was brought on as Bea’s mother after her star-making performance on Broadway’s Torch Song Trilogy. Rue wrote in her 2007 memoir, My First Five Husbands… and the Ones Who Got Away, that the “chemistry was plain as a preacher’s daughter. Our set was a happy one.” That was the case for some time.


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