Just when you think you've heard everything there is to know about The Golden Girls, you happen upon a gem of an interview (which you'll see below, thanks to the Archive of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences), and it's the equivalent of discovering pop-culture gold.
In this case, thank you, Rue McClanahan (Blanche), for being a friend spilling the most scintillating secrets we've ever heard about the show.
Just wait till you see Rue do a spot-on impersonation of the crusty Bea Arthur in the video below. Rue admits that "Bea and I didn't have a lot of relationship going on. She wouldn't go to lunch with me unless Betty would go too." In fact, the girls really didn't hang out much outside of the show except when Estelle had her annual birthday party every June.
Rue admits that Estelle had such severe stage fright that she would blank on tape nights and forget all of her lines. "She was a completely different person the rest of the week," Rue explains, "But once it was the day of the show, she was like Pigpen with a black cloud. Poor thing." Rue tried to give Estelle advice, especially when it came to telling her "Picture it, Sicily, 19xx" stories, but it didn't always work.
Rue admits that it would have "been painful to play Rose!" and that she wouldn't have known where to start (surprising given that the producers originally wanted her for the role of Rose and Betty White for the role of Blanche).
Imagine that closet! Rue stored all of Blanche's nighties in her own closet, and she even created her own clothing line at one point.
Rue had two female roommates, but listening to the way Rue tells it, they certainly weren't as funny or go-with-the-flow as Dorothy or Rose.