Susan Harris is an American television comedy writer and producer, who created numerous successful American TV comedy shows, including Fay, Soap, Benson, It Takes Two, Empty Nest, Nurses, Good & Evil, The Golden Palace, and The Secret Lives of Men. Her longest running and most awarded show was The Golden Girls which aired from 1985 - 1992. She was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2011.
She lives with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and worked the topic of the illness into The Golden Girls by having Bee Arthur's character, Dorothy, diagnosed with it. In the 1989, two-part episode called Sick and Tired, Dorothy travels from doctor to doctor to find out what was wrong with her, while continually being dismissed, ignored and made to feel as though she needs a psychiatrist instead of a physician. One doctor tells her she is just getting old and that maybe she should color her hair.
In a 2010 magazine interview, Harris talked about still having chronic fatigue syndrome: "It's something that some people get over and others don't. I'm better now than I was -- much better than I was. For example, I used to be a runner, but I had to stop. Now I'm a walker. It's that kind of difference...Now, I didn't stay with the [The Golden Girls] show. I was in and out for three years. After my experience with Soap it was too exhausting, and I just couldn't put myself through that again. Then I had a baby to raise."
Talks & interviews
- Fitzharris, D (2010, Oct). Catching Up With The Golden Girls' Susan Harris. Out Magazine, online version. Retrieved from http://www.out.com/entertainment/television/2010/10/03/catching-golden-girls-susan-harris]