When Rufus Wainwright Met Bea Arthur, It Wasn't Pretty

Categories: Bea Arthur

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Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright tells this story to friends:

Ages ago, he was going through a rough, lonely, isolated, messy period, and Golden Girls airings always provided comfort for him.

(Been there!)

Well, years later, he spotted Bea Arthur at an event and summoned the nerve to go up to her and let her know how important she was to him during that time.

He said to Bea:

"I'm sorry to bother you, and I'm sure you hear this all the time, but I was going through a rough patch and Golden Girls brought me so much entertainment and comfort. It really helped me get through the bad spell.

"You're so wonderful. You made me feel like you're my grandmother."

Nice, no? Well, Bea didn't blink.

The raw earnestness and gratitude of the moment didn't seem to melt her frozen expression one bit.

Instead, she leaned into Rufus and summoned her best Dorothy voice.

"I'm not your fucking grandmother," she belched, and walked off.

Thank you for being a bitch.

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47 comments
exackerly
exackerly

You'd think he'd know better, growing up in a family of celebrities, than to make such a douchebag remark.

bitchtrollfromhell
bitchtrollfromhell

He's a jerk for saying that and I can't stand his crappy voice and music.  I'm with Bea!

Malibu
Malibu

Now he's got something much bigger to comfort him.

J S
J S

She was a bitch on "Golden Girls," and her coldness to a fan's heartfelt connection says it all.

How many times do you think a fan has approached Julie Andrews and wished that she had been that person's mother or nanny or even older sister?  And how many times do you think Ms. Andrews dissed that person?  Chances are, she was more likely flattered (and probably embarrassed that so many kids had such lousy parents that they would gladly substitute an actress for their mother).

OregonQueen
OregonQueen

lol...Oh NO! I Love Me some Rufus....and likewise can sit through a whole day of GG reruns. Maybe she was just having a bad day as we all do. I just hope none of my bitchy encounters don't ever become memorialized in a song!

erin
erin

He told this story on NPR... this is kind of old news.

Bluecrest
Bluecrest

Yo! too funny,ol Rufus is lucky she didn't charge him a fee for the therapy session,she is NOT his grandmother,she is an actor..............I never heard the dude music ,but the age of suburban songwriters who are so self absorbed the poor knuckleheads have no intimacy skills and tourture themselves ,so out of touch,they mistake a TV show for relationship......jus a thought BUT maybe this young fool could volunteer in an old folks home ,really touch a real person,and have a real relationship with his species.......hence the state of folk music,our culture,poor boy.

cuttingboardblues
cuttingboardblues

I'd cum a little in my underwear if Beatrice Arthur whispered that in my ear 

burning_plastic
burning_plastic

I think it was her way of being funny and telling him to get a grip at the same time, and if he liked her character on the show he should have enjoyed the moment. It does sound kind of rude but her humor was that way. I guess it's all interpretation. 

Hephaestion
Hephaestion

Funny story.  I love both Rufus & Bea.  And when Im in a pissy mood, I say crazy shit like Bea did.  It's not a big deal.  We all say crazy shit sometimes...some more than others.

Jason Wright
Jason Wright

He told this story at his concert with Tori Amos in 2001.  I've never forgotten it. 

Hychkok
Hychkok

I'm surprised Bea didn't whip out her dick and piss on his leg.

Conqueracat
Conqueracat

ahahhahah not surprising of Bea!!! I used to do her makeup .. and wow the first day I met her was a toughy but gave a touch of it back to her and it was well it worked ... she was a toughy .. not even a b*itc....but a real category all by herself... altho , C has similarities .. lol..... but  hey it was the 80's ...lol.... Oh Lord ... I will tell you  Michael when I see you and show you photos!! 

freddiemessina
freddiemessina

LOL!!! Really??? REALLY GIRL???? You were begging for it!!!

Prince
Prince

Rufus Wainwright is the ONLY celebrity I have met (and I have met and worked with many) who had a screaming "Don't you KNOW who I am?"  fit in public.

I had just left the dark room at the Cock, back when it was on Avenue A, after a particularly busy night.  I was done, so to speak, when Rufus came over from the bar and went for the goods.  I politely declined (truth of the matter is, I do find him attractive and would have gone for it had it been earlier in the night) and kept walking when he grabbed my shoulder and started whining and begging.  It was pathetic and did nothing to make me want to change my mind, which I let him know, and he proceeded to scream "Don't you KNOW who I am??? Don't be such a fucking cunt to me" repeatedly. 

I hoped he'd forgotten that incident, but every time I've seen him since he glares.

Vodkastinger
Vodkastinger

Did someone tell this at her memorial?  This story sound familiar...

Peter Saxe
Peter Saxe

Yeah.. the Grandmother remark triggered her for sure.

VonLmo
VonLmo

Jesus Christ in a lime green speedo! Rufus musta been scary screwed-up if he wuz looking to B & Co for solace. Tho it does, once again, reinforce the adage that meeting one's idols will only disappoint.

Southern Dave
Southern Dave

Quitcher bitchin' Rufe! Bea gave you a great story to tell!

Kincaid
Kincaid

It's interesting to me that we are only hearing RW's version of events - and yet, somehow he still comes off as the real jerk in this situation.

My estimation of Ms. Arthur continues to grow.

Anyone who could (supposedly) piss off Betty White had to be doing something right.

Patches
Patches

That's a bit rough. He's a well respected singer and was showing sincere appreciation for Bea. 

Andrew
Andrew

Sounds like Rufus is the idiot here. Why would you walk up to anyone, a woman especially, no matter what her age and say "you remind me of my grandmother."

BTW, I've met Mr. Wainwright and Ms. Arthur both, and Mr. Wainwright was a cocky little twit. Bea Arthur has always had the reputation of being thoughtful, kind, professional and down to earth. In her will she left a handsome sum to a home for runaway LGBT youth in Manhattan. She's a pro, not a bitch like that hack Rufus Wainwright.

Oil
Oil

Rufus has a career and isn't dining out on anyone. He even once wrote a lyric about Bea being his new grandmother. His love of her and the show was sincere.

Jessie
Jessie

Poor Bea was probably so nasty because the sound of Rufus's voice made her ears bleed.

JinNYC
JinNYC

I would've said the same thing had some sweaty, pudgy nobody walked-up to me and referred to me as his grandma. Good for Bea Arthur.

And Rufus, get a life, and a career and stop attempting to dine-out on your years-old celebrity encounters.

Malone Sizelove
Malone Sizelove

I wouldn't have wanted it any other way! Bea was the best!

Isis
Isis

Is it really that awful to go up to someone who was in a show called Golden Girls--specifically about older  women--and say "You're like a grandmother to me"? Did Bea Arthur think she was a child star?

latenitebump
latenitebump

werq it out, bea! good for her!rufus wainwright: TIRED! (but to eaches own!)she was right for reading him.own it, bea!

billyjoe
billyjoe

Bea's retort to Rufus is dead pan hilarious. 

He should just assume he was part of the cast of "Golden Girls--Uncensored!"

Peter Sherwood
Peter Sherwood

Rufus was a bitch to me once when I went to his dismissive record signing. I never listened to the cd and could give a fuck and he really lost a fan. Who cares. Conversely, Bea Arthur shoved her tongue down my throat once at a party. Shocking but too divine. She wins.

Timmee
Timmee

Yeah, telling an actress--any actress--that you think of her as a grandmother is, as the French would say, a faux pas. Lillian Gish in her 90s still wanted everyone to treat her like an ingenue.

Daniela Merlo
Daniela Merlo

I'm with Bea on this one! what a sad choice of words - one big foot in mouth for RW!

Istanbull
Istanbull

Great story!! That Bea had a mouth on her.

Ulu
Ulu

Amazing story. Love Rufus. And I still love Bea despite all this.

Michael Khalsa
Michael Khalsa

A friend from South Africa when she was a child sent Julie Andrews a cheap present after 'Sound of Music' came out. She got a thankyou letter, a real one not fake.

Not so crazy about Bea Arthur read all the 'golden girls' books and she does not come off like a nice person, though when she died she donate a large sum to homeless gay kids. 

Roi
Roi

Well, no one said it was new. It's a story he tells friends. And judging from the reaction here and on facebook, most people didn't happen to be listening to NPR that day.

marktdavis
marktdavis

@Bluecrest If you've never heard of him or his music, how can you think you can sum him up like that?

Horace
Horace

Yikes. well maybe it was during his awful crystal meth phase.

Musto
Musto

I don['t think so. But Rue definitely told her C-word story.

Bluecrest
Bluecrest

however sincere he is seriously outa touch(literally)with reality,maybe he could volunteer in an old folks home,be in touch with a real old person,and write a song about it instead of "A TV SHOW?"sounds like an empty sad suburbanite,sad youngman................

Jcrain
Jcrain

Fine, but with his pedigree you'd be forgiven for expecting that he'd have much, much more talent than he's got right now. The queer-artist card's depreciated in value since he emerged, in case he hasn't checked up on it.

Jjj
Jjj

eaches?

Jarvococko
Jarvococko

LOL the queer-artist card. just lost your right to say anything.

latenitebump
latenitebump

 i´m cracking up. i gave you a point for that one. lol.

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