The Truth About The Golden Girls’ Real-Life Friendship

White was five months older than Arthur and the oldest of the four Golden Girls stars, but she outlived them all by more than a decade before her death on Dec. 31, just 17 days shy of her 100th birthday.

Estelle Getty died at 84 on July 22, 2008, having battled Lewy body dementia for almost 10 years. “Our mother-daughter relationship was one of the greatest comic duos ever, and I will miss her,” Arthur said in a statement at the time. 

“The only comfort at this moment is that although Estelle has moved on, Sophia will always be with us,” White said. Arthur died April 25, 2009, at 86 and McClanahan, the youngest Golden Girl, died at 76 on June 3, 2010.

In an update for a new paperback edition of her book in 2010, White wrote that losing all three of her co-stars, including, “just recently, my beloved Rue McClanahan, has been very hard to take. When you work so closely together, for so long, and are blessed with such success, you wind up locked at the heart.”

Seasons 1-7 of The Golden Girls are streaming on Hulu.

(E! and NBC are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)

(Originally published July 30, 2019, at 3 a.m. PT)