Thirty-four years ago, The Golden Girls revolutionized the sitcom. And since then, nearly every piece of trivia about this beloved series has been made public knowledge. Turns out, there may be some hidden tidbits. For sure the die-hard fans know the basic stuff about the Girls. Nevertheless, this classic sitcom of four elderly women living their best years in each other's company featured talent both in front of and behind the camera. That amounts to a lot of information out there waiting to be shared. So, here are some hidden details about The Golden Girls people may not be aware of.
10 Dorothy's divorce hit close to home for Bea Arthur
One of Dorothy's biggest insecurities was undoubtedly her divorce from Stan Zbornak. The mere mention of his name sent her spinning. In the first season's "Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding?" Dorothy and Stan's daughter Kate announces she's getting married. This meant Dorothy would have to see Stan at the wedding. She puts on a brave face and endures the awful day with some help from her mother Sophia. In the end, she confronts Stan and tells him off. This specific scene was hard for Bea Arthur, as she went through a similar experience with her ex. Gene Saks.
9 The Girls hated the mink episode
In the second season's opener "End of the Curse," the ladies breed minks as a way of making some extra cash. What fans don't realize is how much the actors disliked the script. The staff was aware Betty White was an animal activist, but they didn't know Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan were ones, too. Writer Terry Grossman backed them up as much as he could, but the talented actors persevered. They had no interest in doing stories with harmful themes like breeding animals for profit.
8 A familiar room
Production designer Ed Stephenson favored "modular" sets because they could be reused with a few simple adjustments. So the series made good use of a teak-paneled courtroom from the show Soap. Dubbed the "Classic Interior", this set was repurposed as a waiting room ("Mother Load"), a banquet hall ("Love for Sale"), a hair salon ("Rites of Spring"), a clothing store ("Love Me Tender"), and a restaurant ("Ro$e Love$ Mile$"). Following the end of the series and its spin-off, the set was rented out to other productions. All proceeds went to Tony Thomas' favorite charity, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
7 Where's the oven?
Some of the best scenes in the whole run of The Golden Girls took place in the kitchen. Whether it was Rose cooking up wacky Scandinavian delicacies or Sophia perfecting one of her Sicilian recipes, the kitchen was the heart of the home. And for a room where eating nothing but mouth-watering meals was par for the course, it may be surprising to learn there was no oven. Just a cabinet with a piece of plywood in place of a door. The kitchen — from Helen Hunt's 1982 sitcom It Takes Two — originally came with an oven next to the fridge.
6 The best prop ever
Blanche was famous for her amorous lifestyle. And to literally illustrate her many sexual conquests, Blanche offered her surrogate family an original Christmas present like no other. In "'Twas the Nightmare Before Christmas", the ladies' holiday vacations are each postponed by inclement weather. Yet prior to that, the Golden Girls share homemade presents rather than purchased ones. Mrs. Devereaux gifted her friends with "The Men of Blanche's Boudoir" calendar. Every month features a man who brought some "special joy" to Blanche's life. In reality, the prop calendar contained photos of the male production crew in ridiculous outfits and poses.
5 Blanche's accent
Despite Rue's character growing up in a part of Georgia where the Southern accent was considerably modest, she felt it wasn't funny enough for the role of Blanche. So, she opted for a humorous dialect that is more phony than realistic. Rue McClanahan 's inspiration for Blanche's accent came from her mother's cousin. She was from Oklahoma too, but she spoke like a Southern belle pretending to be British. The funny thing is though, Rue almost didn't use the accent for Blanche. She thought she had to keep her default intonation until the show gave her permission to make Blanche Southern.
4 Where's Coco?
Fans surely noticed the ladies lived with a gay man named Coco in the pilot, but where did he go afterwards? The late actor Charles Levin was completely comfortable with playing a gay character. So that's not why he wasn't kept on. What actually happened was the network didn't like the idea of Coco being intimate with other men. Levin suspected the AIDS crisis at the time was a factor. His scenes were trimmed to the point where Coco was only a glorified servant. The official reason conveyed to Levin after the pilot was they wanted to focus on just the women.
3 Being fashionable comes at a price
Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose did not dress like the average senior citizen on television. The majority of their clothes were handmade by costume designer Judy Evans Steele. She implemented a lot of bright colors and prints to match the spirit of Florida. Something else unusual about the ladies' wardrobe — with the exception of Sophia, the Girls dressed like people who don't live in Florida. Meaning it gets very hot there, yet Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose are wearing layered, expensive, and fashionable outfits. It may have been one hundred degrees, but the Girls wouldn't be caught dead in a sleeveless top.
2 The truth about the cheesecake scenes
Would cheesecake be as popular without The Golden Girls? Probably not. The ladies frequently sat down in the kitchen and chatted over several slices of the dessert. Fans love these scenes, but they may be heartbroken to know that not every Girl liked cheesecake. Although Betty White enjoys cheesecake, she doesn't eat anything on camera. She claims Rue McClanahan is the opposite and would go to town if there was cheesecake. McClanahan said that's not true, and she only pretended to eat it. As for Bea Arthur, she hated cheesecake. In fact, she didn't like the scenes involving it either.
1 Living in style
The ladies had a very enticing living room. There was a sizable amount of woodwork on the set, but unless one is looking for it, they would never notice that the wood isn't at all carved. Instead, it's painted to look textured. The show was filmed in standard definition so these details are harder to discern anyway. Something else worth noting is the rattan sofa the Girls lounge on. Assistant art director Michael Hynes chose it because it looked feminine. Throughout the series, the pillows change in style and color because the women's clothes would otherwise clash with the furniture.