‘Golden Girls’: Betty White Was ‘Frightened’ by Amount of Praise Show Got Before Airing

by Joe Rutland

Before Golden Girls started out on NBC, the show received a lot of praise from critics and that scared star Betty White.

White, who along with Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty made up the cast, talked about this in a 1985 interview with The New York Times who described how White was “frightened” by show’s hype.

“In all the hundred years I’ve been in this business, I’ve never seen this kind of pre-hype,” White says. “Well, at least they can’t miss the fact we’re on. We will not go down by default.”

So, Golden Girls debuted on NBC on Sept. 14, 1985, and ran for seven seasons. How good was it? TV Guide listed it as one of the “60 Best Series of All-Time.”

Also, all four actresses won Emmy Awards for their work on the primetime sitcom.

The show remains popular even today in reruns. Only White, at 99 years old, remains alive out of the cast.

‘Golden Girls’ Star Played In A Number Of Episodes On Show, Spin-offs

White kept busy throughout her time on Golden Girls.

How busy? Well, Outsiders, she plays Rose Nylund for 208 total episodes of the NBC sitcom.

Now, White also appeared in three spin-offs: The Golden Palace, Empty Nest, and Nurses.

The veteran actress picked her top roles back in 2010, according to Entertainment Weekly. She picked Life With Elizabeth, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Golden Girls, Ally McBeal, The Practice, Boston Legal.

About Rose, White said, “She was terminally naive. I like Rose because she thought life was like a musical comedy. It was going to have a happy ending no matter whatever happened.”

When you watch Golden Girls, it definitely is something to see White alongside her co-stars. What a cast, indeed.

White Seems To Have Found Secret To Long Life, But Co-Stars Have A Say

You know, Outsiders, White is still alive and well at 99.

What is her secret? Would you believe that one of them is, well, junk food?

Listen to what her Hot in Cleveland co-stars had to say about this. If Rose was listening, then we might tell her to put her hands over her ears.

“She eats crap,” Jane Leeves told Us Magazine in 2011. White “eats Red Vines, hot dogs, French fries, and Diet Coke. If that’s [the] key, maybe she’s preserved because of all the preservatives.”

This is no secret about her love of sweets, folks.

White did a Super Bowl ad for Snickers in 2010 that was a highlight.

Her love of Red Vines is so legendary that the company made a portrait of her using only the licorice sticks for her birthday.

Then, Wendie Malick said White “eats red licorice, like, ridiculously a lot. She seems to exist on hot dogs and French fries.”