‘Golden Girls’: Betty White Gave Writer Marc Cherry an Important Piece of Advice

by Jennifer Shea

The late, great Betty White had some sage words of advice for writer Marc Cherry, who worked alongside White on the last three seasons of The Golden Girls.

Cherry would go on to find success with Desperate Housewives, but before he did, he had to endure some lean years.

“I was so broke and out of work for years before I sold Desperate Housewives and Betty was so supportive of me,” the writer told Extra yesterday. “She would say, ‘Yes, you must enjoy these successes when they come along because they don’t always come along.’”

Marc Cherry Calls Betty White His Role Model

White was a beacon of sorts to Cherry, who said he will be proud of the fact that White spoke his words onscreen for the rest of his life. He also said they shared personal details with each other and “got very real,” which was “wonderful” for Cherry.

“She’s my role model,” Cherry declared. “I’ve seen someone who’s gotten great success and fame and I’ve seen how she handles it.”

“She was, to my way of thinking, the most beautiful of steel magnolias. She was lovely and sweet and kind, but in her core, she was very strong,” he added.

And now that Betty’s gone? Cherry wishes he could have told her just one more thing.

“Don’t go, Betty,” Cherry said. “I want you to get one more gig.”

White Was Smart and Kind

After The Golden Girls ended, White and her co-stars, minus Bea Arthur, went on to do The Golden Palace, a sequel of sorts that lasted 24 episodes. Cherry was part of that, too. And one of his favorite memories of Betty White happened during that show’s run.

“We were doing ‘Golden Palace’ and we had a character actor and he was having problems with his lines. He was in his mid 80s,” Cherry recalled. “We’re doing the second show in front of a live audience. This guy is really struggling. You can feel the audience getting irritated with him.”

“I witnessed Betty do something that I [had] never seen any performer do,” Cherry continued. “At some point, she realized the audience was turning against this guy. So she started saying things like… ‘I’m not sure what the line is here. Can you bring the script over?’… She made sure he saw the correct line… She was so charming, she disarmed the audience.

Cherry said White set out to save the taping and the actor’s dignity. And she succeeded. “She wasn’t just kind, she was smart, too,” he said.

A consummate actress, well into her nineties, White never seemed to struggle with her lines. And now her many fans will have her performances in numerous TV shows, including The Golden Girls, to remember her by. For friends like Cherry, it’s not the same, but it will have to do.