Betty White's Real-Life Relationship With Her Golden Girls Co-Stars Will Surprise You

Actor and comedian Betty White, who recently passed away at the age of 99, had a variety of roles during her decades-spanning career in Hollywood. Most notable was her part as Rose Nylund in NBC's sitcom "The Golden Girls," which aired from 1985 to 1992. The show's premise centered on four women: Rose (White), along with Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), and Sophia (Estelle Getty), who live together as single women in Miami.

While the original "Golden Girls" stars are no longer with us, the interviews they gave during the show and lives after shed some light on what really occurred. In 1988, McClanahan did an interview with Larry King, according to Outsider. "I think somewhere along the way, if you're not getting along it begins to undermine a show's success. It begins to seep in through the cracks. This is a wonderful experience that we're having. And everyone always asks 'do you really have as much fun as you seem you're having and do you really like each other?' Fact is, yes, we do," she said.

Although the jokes and connections between the "Golden Girls" cast members appealed to fans with its kind, lighthearted energy, not everything remained perfect behind-the-scenes. During the seven seasons of the sitcom, the relationships between co-stars grew tense at times — even if they considered themselves friends.

Betty White and Bea Arthur had a rocky relationship

Outside of the set of "The Golden Girls," the relationship between late actors Betty White and Bea Arthur wasn't always what fans would have expected. During a 2011 interview with The Village Voice, two years after Arthur's passing, White opened up about what things were really like as co-stars on the 1980s sitcom. "She was not that fond of me," White said. "She found me a pain in the neck sometimes. It was my positive attitude — and that made Bea mad sometimes. Sometimes if I was happy, she'd be furious!"

Arthur's son Matthew Saks also reflected on the relationship between his mother and White during a 2017 interview with Closer Weekly. "It would make my mom unhappy that in-between takes Betty would go and talk to the audience. It wasn't jealousy. It was a focus thing," Saks said. "My mom unknowingly carried the attitude that it was fun to have somebody to be angry at. It was almost like Betty became her nemesis, someone she could always roll her eyes about at work."

Others that were also close to White and Arthur, such as the show's producer Stan Zimmerman, or just very familiar with the sitcom's history like author Jim Colucci, noted the same dynamic between the two women, per Closer Weekly. "They worked long hours, tempers flare and you have disagreements over the years," Zimmerman said.