‘Golden Girls’: Betty White Explained Why She ‘Couldn’t Ever’ Live with Characters on Show

by Anna Dunn

The Golden Girls star Betty White explained why she could never live with the characters on the show. In a 1985 interview with Merv Griffin, the star joked about not wanting roommates.

It wasn’t even against the characters specifically. White joked she didn’t want four women as roommates. “I couldn’t ever live with four ladies,” she said, “If I had to be sentenced, I’d pick [them] over anybody else.”

Betty White starred on The Golden Girls from 1985-1992. She played Rose Nylund. Since The Golden Girls, the now 99-year-old Betty White has continued to charm millions as well as act in dozens of roles. Her last credited acting gig was a 2019 voice acting job for a TV series short, Forky Asks a Question, where she played “Bitey White.”

Why Betty White Loved ‘The Golden Girls’

While there are likely many reasons that White loved The Golden Girls, she’s specifically talked about how the show tackles the concept of aging. The show began by centering around four single women, all older. On the hilarious yet often touching show, the women grapple with romance, family, financial issues, and getting older.

White talked about her love for the Show’s portrayal of aging in a 1991 interview with The Today Show. “You don’t fall off the planet just because you pass a certain age,” White said. Though, lots of TV shows and movies may have you believe it. Many shows focus on younger characters in the starring roles.

She loved how the show didn’t portray the older women as dull and gave them interesting lives and fully fleshed desires.

“If you were a dull young person, you’re going to be a dull old person. I don’t think just because the years go by, you have to be that way,” she said.

She also spoke about the misconceptions many people have with aging, emphasizing that older people don’t lose their “zest for life” just because they’re older.

Since then, few shows have championed older characters as much as The Golden Girls has. Grace and Frankie, a Netflix original series about two older women who begrudgingly become roommates after their husbands leave them for each other, comes close.

Still, nothing will ever be quite like The Golden Girls. Betty White, along with co-stars Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty brought delightful performances to the screen for nearly a decade. The absolutely riotous show still feels funny and relevant today and has proven itself to be timeless.