"I learned from her," said McClanahan, who worked with Arthur on "Maude" and "The Golden Girls." "I learned not comedy timing. I already knew that. We already had that together. I learned courage. I learned how to go out on a limb. Really go out on a limb. Go as far as you dared, and a little bit farther."
Arthur was a veteran of on and off-Broadway shows, winning a Tony award for "Mame," but her career really took off when she first appeared on television. On "All in the Family," as Edith Bunker's outspoken cousin, Arthur sparked a spin-off, "Maude," which aired through the '70s. In the '90s, she joined the cast of "The Golden Girls," as Dorothy.
Arthur died on Saturday, reportedly of cancer, in her Los Angeles home. She was 86.
White told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen she would remember the times when Arthur would sometimes stop production of "The Golden Girls" with her laughing.
"Every once in awhile, something would tickle Bea, and she'd get the giggles," White said. " ... In rehearsal, we'd get to that point, and she was gone. And it made it great fun."
McClanahan added that she'll miss talking on the phone with Arthur. "I think I'll miss that voice."