Way back in July, I ran in the column a story that Rue McClanahan was telling audiences.
Rue had told a comedy club crowd that at the opening night party for fellow Golden Girl Bea Arthur‘s one-woman Broadway show a few years back, Rue’s husband approached Bea and thanked her for inviting them. Replied the droll star, “I love Rue…But Betty White‘s a cunt!”
Rue repeated the story at Bea’s memorial at the Majestic Theater the other day, and it brought down the house, especially since it followed a far more serious story Rue told about how Bea comforted her after her mother died.
But while I was among those guffawing the loudest, I have two sincere questions about this story:
What the hell is so bad about Betty White, who always seems so damned nice?
And is it really right for Rue to wait till Bea dies before she rats out a private remark she made? Didn’t she leave it out of her book and wait till now to tell it because, alive, Bea wouldn’t have liked it being served to crowds and publications?
Is it really right to spill the beans on someone’s private thoughts at their own memorial?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 17, 2009