The opening theme to the popular TV show, The Golden Girls. Courtesy: TLC
GOLDEN Girls fans are about to get their own Mecca.
According to DNAinfo, a Golden Girls themed cafe is set to open in New York.
The venue will be called Rue La Rue Cafe in honour of Rue McClanahan who played Blanche Devereaux on the hit sitcom.
The men behind the business are McClanahan’s son and her best friend who inherited all of her personal belongings and showbiz memorabilia when the actress died in 2010.
The cafe will be decorated with some of McClanahan’s items and, as a nod to Blanche Devereaux’s love of performing, there’ll also be a piano for live music.
The cafe, which has reportedly been given permission by the Walt Disney Company to create and sell its very own merchandise, will also serve salads, soups, wine and cheesecake (obviously).
The cafe is set to open in September and the only surviving Golden Girl, Betty White, has agreed to cut the ribbon.
To celebrate the good news, here are some fun facts about The Golden Girls:
Estelle Getty may have played the oldest character, Sophia Petrillo, but she was actually the second youngest of the four main actors. Betty White was in fact the oldest, followed by Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty and finally Rue McClanahan.
NOT ALL OF THE ACTORS WERE SO FRIENDLY
On TV they played the best of friends, but that wasn’t the case in real life. There was a long-running feud between Betty White (Rose) and Bea Arthur (Dorothy), who were the two biggest stars when the show began.
“She (Arthur) was not that fond of me,” Betty White said in 2011.
“She found me a pain in the neck sometimes. It was my positive attitude — and that made Bea mad sometimes. If I was happy, she’d be furious!”
According to Rue McClanahan (Blanche), the feud lasted long after the show wrapped up. Apparently in 2002, McClanahan’s husband spoke to Bea Arthur and thanked her for inviting him to her Broadway show. “I love Rue!” Arthur reportedly said, before adding, “Betty [White] is a cu**!”
McClanahan herself also struggled to bond with Arthur, saying, “Bea and I didn’t have a lot of relationship going on. Bea is a very, very eccentric woman.”
ESTELLE GETTY SUFFERED FROM STAGE FRIGHT
Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo, sometimes had to read her lines off large cue cards which were held up by crew members just off the set because she would seize up when the cameras were rolling.
“She (Getty) had an awful time remembering her lines because she would freeze and panic,” Rue McClanahan said.
“She would start getting under a dark cloud the day before tape day; you could see a big difference in her on that day. She was unreachable. She was just as uptight as a human being can get. When your brain is frozen like that, you can’t remember lines. She couldn’t think of her name, poor little thing.”
THE QUEEN LOVED THE GOLDEN GIRLS
Queen Elizabeth II was such a big fan of the fabulous foursome that she invited them to perform for her at the Royal Variety Performance in London in 1988. “We’ll do about seven minutes from the show, but we’ll have to censor a few things for the Queen,” Bea Arthur told a newspaper before the big gig.
It could be argued that cheesecake was the fifth member of the Golden Girls. It’s estimated that during the show’s 180 episodes, the actors consumed more than 100 cheesecakes, which was not ideal for Bea Arthur who hated the sweet treat.
Rue McClanahan was originally picked to play the dimwitted Rose Nylund and Betty White was meant to play the promiscuous Blanche Devereaux. But the producers were worried that if White played Blanche, it would be too similar to a nymphomaniac character she played on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, so they asked the actors to swap roles.
In the kitchen, there were always only three chairs at the table. Why weren’t there four? According to director Terry Hughes, “There was a technical reason for that, because somebody would have had to sit with their back to the camera.”
“It was a bit like the school bus,” Hughes said.
“You take a seat and you have that seat for the rest of your life. Dorothy was always in the middle, and Rose and Blanche would switch sides depending on who had to leave the room the quickest.”
It took 45 minutes on the day of filming to transform Estelle Getty into an 80-year-old woman.
When she initially auditioned for the role, the producers were sceptical that she could actually pull-off playing a much older character.
On her third audition she pleaded with a makeup artist to help her land the dream role.
“To you this is just a job,” Getty reportedly told the makeup artist.
“To me it’s my entire career down the toilet unless you make me look 80.”