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Golden Girls Forever, Indeed!

It was with giddiness that I stumbled upon Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai (2016), Jim Colucci's guide to my all-time, favorite sitcom, the immortal juggernaut, The Golden Girls (1985). For fans of the show, this book is quite a gem as I can testify from how I literally skipped out of Amazon Books after perusing its shelves for the first time.

Packed with hundreds of exclusive interviews with the suits, writers, producers, directors, stars, guest stars from the show, Colucci reveals behind-the-scenes, never-before-revealed stories and commentary. The level of detail and insight into various aspects of the show suggest that the author really did his research and is very much a fan of the show.

A Bit of Trivia:

  1. Bea Arthur was "difficult" in that she took her craft seriously and wasn't about appeasing others or being unnecessarily "friendly." As such, though highly respected, she was also intimidating, especially to many of the guest actors on the show. Also, as much as the other ladies were different from the characters they played, Bea and Dorothy were more similar than different.
  2. Details about Estelle Getty brought to mind Alec Baldwin's quote highlighted in Caitlin_D's review of his memoir Nevertheless (2017): "I realized then that the movies really do enhance certain actors, making them seem like something they really aren’t at all." In this case, Estelle Getty was made to seem more with it than she actually was: She was just terrible at remembering her lines, causing many re-shoots and delaying production. It's a wonder she ever considered carrying on by starring in The Golden Palace (1992).
  3. Though in real life the ladies' relationship with each other wasn't as close-knit and easy as would be expected from their on-screen chemistry, they very much respected each other and were professional towards one another.
  4. Betty White is as lovely as she appears. So, too, was Rue.
  5. Cindy Fee was only 23 years old when she recorded the theme song. (I always imagined her to be in her mid-thirties plus, actually). In any case, she was so busy/in demand for singing commercial gingles that she said she'd sing "Thank You for Being a Friend" in one take as she had other songs on her track list for the day. In the book, she is quoted as saying, "'It never stops playing. And so even if I did nothing else, I make a pretty good living from The Golden Girls alone every year.'" The song has been so profitable that it also enabled her to put her two sons through college.
  6. Lizzie Maguire's mom seemed so familiar because she is Blanche's niece Lucy from season 1's "Nice and Easy." ...And the actor who plays the "dumb," Miami Vice-wanna-be cop from that episode went on to become a lawyer, his true passion.
Golden Girls Forever: An Unauthorized Look Behind the Lanai is a true fan's delightful and insightful read.

Crossposted at CBR9.


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