‘The Golden Girls’: Bea Arthur Called Estelle Getty ‘Ma’ in Real Life


The Golden Girls stars Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur in a production still from the show
Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur | ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

There were ‘no divas’ on ‘The Golden Girls’ set

Harding recently told

The Golden Girls are still making fans laugh 30 years after the final episode aired. To commemorate the foursome known as Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White), and Sophia (Estelle Getty), three men who knew them well recently shared some of their favorite memories at The Golden Girls Insiders Show in Southern California.

Getty’s longtime personal assistant Richard Weaver, Arthur’s personal assistant Dan Watt, and Art Harding –a makeup artist who worked on the series for five seasons — spilled The Golden Girls tea. Including the fact that Arthur actually called Getty “ma” in real life.

Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur | ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

There were ‘no divas’ on ‘The Golden Girls’ set

Harding recently told Closer Magazine that sometimes the stars of The Golden Girls didn’t get along. But, no matter what the problems were among the cast, “there were no divas.”

“There were some tough relationships, but they were always professional on the set. They always knew their lines, and they were always ready to roll,” Harding said.

Watt noted that on most days, Arthur, McClanahan, and White would eat lunch together and rehearse. However, “Estelle preferred to go to her trailer to study her lines.” He also revealed that despite his boss’ commanding presence, Arthur was actually quite shy in real life and “hated talking about herself.”

“She had some quirks like she hated people chewing gum,” Harding added.

Bea Arthur called Estelle Getty ‘ma’ in real life

Even though she was shy, Arthur was vocal when she needed to be. Watt recalled a time when a director was hired for an episode that the four actresses thought was a bad fit for the show, and Arthur stood up and said something.

“She had the chutzpah to speak up and share everyone’s view. She walked over and said, ‘Shouldn’t a comedy director be funny? I’m going to lunch now,” Watts shared, adding that the director was replaced the next day.

Weaver noted that Arthur could be quite generous to her co-stars. She had a seeing-eye dog trained in White’s name for Christmas because she was a huge animal lover. And, when McClanahan was struggling after her divorce, Arthur sent her plane tickets and invited her to stay with her. 

Her closest friendship on the show, though, was with Getty. Even though she played Arthur’s mother on-screen, the two co-stars were actually less than a year apart in age. But that didn’t stop Arthur from calling Getty “ma” in real life.

On Getty’s 75th birthday, Arthur showed up with a large gift bag and threw it at Weaver. “Bea said, ‘Happy birthday, Ma. Here’s a [freaking] brisket.’ It was an inside joke because they’re both Jewish. She literally brought her a brisket!”

Bea Arthur lost her mother when ‘The Golden Girls’ was on the air

Weaver explained that Arthur had lost her real mother during the taping of Golden Girls, and she “looked to Estelle as a mother at that point.”  He …read more

Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

      

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