Story behind Betty White and Bea Arthur's Infamous Feud

Betty White and Bea Arthur had a feud that made their friendship on-screen pale in comparison to it, and the story behind it is quite fascinating.

Betty White and Bea Arthur of the famous sitcom “The Golden Girls” had a feud that was as popular as their show.

The reason for their feud

Although there were a lot of theories on what started the war between the actresses, White revealed the reason during an interview with "TimesTalk" in 2011, at the Times Center.

The legendary actress who was also promoting her memoir “If You Ask Me: And of Course You Won’t” at the time, said that Arthur was a reserved person who was not fond of her.

Betty White and Bea Arthur during The Golden Girls: Season 3 Signing | Photo: Getty Images

Betty White and Bea Arthur during The Golden Girls: Season 3 Signing | Photo: Getty Images

White said her co-star didn’t like her very much, and in the then-89-year-old's opinion, it was her positive attitude and openness that offended the woman who played “Dorothy Zborbak” the most.

The “The Proposal” star added that her on-screen bestie was usually furious at her happy and cheerful attitude, and by the time the fans were saying goodbye to the show in ’92, there was nothing left to salvage of the two’s relationship.

They used to be wonderful friends, though

Interestingly, the actresses were close friends when the series started; they arrived together and would not eat lunch without each other, which is why their co-stars, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty were surprised at the feud. 

Another person who was able to shed light on the story behind the animosity is Matthew Saks, Arthur’s adopted son. According to him, White was able to connect with the live audience the way his mother couldn’t, which irked her.

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Saks equally said his now-deceased mother, considered herself a better actress than her co-star, and the latter winning an Emmy Award before Arthur added to her list of wrongs in his mother’s eyes.

Right or wrong, the late actress never got to tell her side of the story before her death from cancer in 2009. White is still alive and continues to get accolades for her long-standing career spanning over seven decades.

The actress won seven Emmys in all, and in 2015, she got awarded the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award. The “Hot in Cleveland” star came into the world on January 17, 1922. She worked in a radio station, theater, and as a model before becoming famous.

White's time as a volunteer during WWII

During World War II, the veteran actress worked as a volunteer at the America Women’s Voluntary Services, and after the war started her career in television. 

White holds a Guinness World Record for the longest TV career as an entertainer, female category, and was married three times. The award-winning actress’s last husband, Allen Ludden, died in 1981, and their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame lie side-by-side.

Nowadays, White is the only “Golden Girl” alive, and she learned to put the past behind her and let the dead rest in peace.

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