‘Golden Girls’ Star Betty White Explained Why Working in TV is Still Magical

by Joe Rutland

If you think “Golden Girls” star Betty White, now 99 years young, doesn’t find working in TV interesting anymore, then don’t believe it.

The true source about her interest in TV lies with one person: White herself.

White, who played Rose in The “Golden Girls,” started working in television all the way back in 1949. When asked in a 2012 interview with the Sydney [Australia] Morning Herald if it’s still magical to her, White tends to still see it that way.

“It is for me,” White, who was starring on the TV sitcom “Hot In Cleveland” at the time of this interview, says. “I love it. The reason I love television so much is you’re not playing to a big audience, you’re not playing to thousands of people.

‘Golden Girls’ Star Envisions Two, Three People Only Watching Her On TV

“You’re playing to two or three people at a time,” the “Golden Girls” star says. “So, that camera represents two or three people and I think that’s what keeps me fascinated with it. You feel like you really know those people and when you meet those people on the street, they really feel like they know you. I love it.”

For seven seasons, White joined up with three other veteran actresses to bring the house down when The “Golden Girls” were on TV screens. Bea Arthur played Dorothy, Rue McClanahan played Blanche, and Estelle Getty played Sophia. All three of White’s costars from the show have now died.

The “Golden Girls” truly showed a different side to older women on TV. All four discussed adult topics and subjects at ages most TV shows usually would dismiss even discussing them. Blanche flirted with about every man who walked near her. Dorothy would be the practical-yet-sarcastic voice among the four.

Rose would sometimes be considered dense and dimwitted by people. Sophia would be the character who had a snappy comeback to anyone that put her down.

White and Arthur Found One Thing To Bring Them Closer Together

Arthur and White both had previous success on TV before “Golden Girls” was on NBC. White, a frequent game show guest star, played Sue Ann Nivens on the 1970s hit “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Arthur, who was a Broadway and stage actress through and through, found success on Norman Lear’s sitcom “Maude.”

Yet the loss of their parents around the same time sent both actresses into a tailspin.

Arthur lost her mother, who grew deaf and blind in her later years, shortly after The “Golden Girls” started filming. White also lost her mother around the same time. Their grief was so intense that talks took place to put the show on hiatus.

Lex Passaris, who was a director of some of The “Golden Girls” episodes, talked with “Closer Weekly” about their relationship.

“We were ready to shut down the show for as long as they needed,” Passaris said. “But both ladies said, ‘No. We need to work.'”