What is The Golden Girls?
The Golden Girls was an American sitcom that aired on NBC for 7 seasons, from 1985-1992, starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan & Estelle Getty (as Dorothy’s mother, Sophia) and centered on their shared lives living in Miami, FL.
After season 7, Bea Arthur left & a spin-off called The Golden Palace premiered, which followed the adventures of the remaining Golden Girls as they owned & managed a hotel, staffed by Cheech Marin, among others. This show lasted 1 season.
Dorothy Zbornak (Daughter, Divorced Mother & Substitute Teacher), played by Bea Arthur of All in the Family & Maude fame.
Blanche Devereaux (Art Museum Assistant, Homeowner & Sexpot), played by Rue McClanahan. In addition to also appearing on Maude, she starred on Broadway, in the soap opera Another World & in TV & Theatrical Movies.
Rose Nylund (Widow, Grief Counselor, St. Olaf-ian ), played by Betty White of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Her career in television, movies & on stage has spanned 75 years.
Sophia Petrillo (Dorothy’s mother, former resident of Shady Pines Retirement Home, Italian), played by Estelle Getty, known for starring in Mannequin & with Sylvester Stallone in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, as well as appearing on Broadway in Torch Song Trilogy.
Are Any of The Golden Girls Still Alive?
Yes, Betty White is 91 & appears on Hot in Cleveland & Off Their Rockers!
Rue McClanahan passed on in 2010, age 76.
Bea Arthur died in 2009, age 76.
Estelle Getty passed away in 2008, age 84.
Why Did You Start This Site?
Because Reviewing Every Episode, in Chronological Order of just Family Matters (Reviewed) wasn’t enough to quench my thirst for reliving TV shows from my childhood. Also, because I genuinely liked the show & can look back now and appreciate how truly groundbreaking it was.
Besides the occasional, obligatory Very Special Episode, The Golden Girls showed women over 50 really living their lives. Most shows of any era portray(ed) menopausal-age women (and those older) as lifeless, sexless, married housewives…if they were depicted at all.
The Golden Girls showed 4 women who were feisty, divorced, working, widowed & sexually-charged.
But the main reason I have a soft spot in my heart for it, is this: At a very difficult point in my late teens – when I had nowhere to go & (seemingly) no one to turn to – my maternal grandmother took me into her home. And every evening, we watched back-to-back reruns of The Golden Girls (followed by Evening Shade😉
And while Sophia Petrillo joked about Shady Pines retirement home & death; while Blanche Devereaux invented the term cougar fifteen years early; as Dorothy Zbornak substitute-taught high school and kept an eye-out for Mr. Right; and sweet Rose Nylund tried to understand a world that wasn’t as gentle as she…my grandmother and I bonded. Watching, eating ice cream, laughing about the absurdity of our (then) current situations and – eventually – improving our lives and moving on with them, like you have to do.
My grandmother provided stability in an uncertain time; The Golden Girls made me laugh at the uncertainty & feel better about it.
So, if my grandmother ever goes online to replace the DVD Box Sets of this show I “borrowed” from her, I hope she finds this site, so I can again say:
“Thank You for Being a Friend…”