Golden Girls Writer Spills on Feud Between Stars in New Book

Did two of the most iconic women in Hollywood hate each other? Golden Girls writer dishes on the alleged feud between Bea Arthur and Betty White.

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A still from an episode of "The Golden Girls" featuring Bea Arthur and Betty White.

If you’re a fan of The Golden Girls (and why wouldn’t you be?), you probably know that Bea Arthur and Betty White had something of a feud on set.

Well, it was more of a one-sided feud. Betty White once spoke about her relationship with Bea Arthur in an interview:

I don’t know what I ever did, I don’t know, but [Bea] was not that thrilled with me. But I loved Bea. And I admired her.

Drama Behind the Scenes

Bea Arthur never said anything outwardly negative about Betty White in interviews, but those who knew Arthur knew that she sometimes found White hard to get along with. As more former crew members from the show released their own stories from set, more people spoke about how Arthur didn’t like White, although viewers would never know it from the chemistry between the show’s four leads.

So how does a show run successfully for seven years when two of the stars can’t get along? If you ever wondered what that dynamic looked like on set, this new book is just for you.

TV Writer Releases Memoir

In his new book, The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore, TV writer Stan Zimmerman delves into Arthur and White’s relationship. In it, he says that while he never saw the tension in person, he “heard stories and recently learned, from producer Marsha Posner Williams on a podcast, that Bea thought Betty was two-faced.”

Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty holding Emmys while dressed as their characters from "The Golden Girls."

Zimmerman and his writing partner James Berg wrote several episodes for The Golden Girls, including Blanche and The Younger Man and Adult Education, episodes nine and 20 of the first season. Along with The Golden Girls, Zimmerman also penned episodes for other familiar TV shows like Roseanne and Gilmore Girls.

Told in a mix of prose and journal entries, Zimmerman’s memoir The Girls looks back on the writer’s relationship with several leading ladies of show business, as well as the women in his own life who shaped who he became. 

The Girls: From Golden to Gilmore is out now in paperback.

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