The Golden Girls TV Show

The Golden GirlsThe Golden Girls

1985-1992 | NBC
Added to the database on October 1, 2008
(17 votes)
The Golden Girls is a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1985 until 1992 that centers on four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida.
Launched during the neon-lit 1980s, The Golden Girls shed light on a side of Miami ignored by Miami Vice. In other words, no drugs, no murder--just four women of "a certain age," spending their golden years in the sun. Like the theme, "Thank You for Being a Friend," the long-running sitcom was about friendship (not crime). As for the "girls," they were tart-tongued Dorothy (Beatrice Arthur), former farm girl Rose (Betty White), Southern belle Blanche (Rue McClanahan), and Dorothy's salty Sicilian mother Sophia (Estelle Getty). All were widows, with the exception of the divorced Dorothy. Created by Emmy-winning producer Susan Harris (Soap), The Golden Girls re-ignited the careers of 1970s TV veterans Arthur (All in the Family, Maude) and White (The Mary Tyler Moore Show). At the same time, it made stars of McClanahan (who co-starred on Maude), by playing a comic version of A Streetcar Named Desire's Blanche Dubois, and the scene-stealing Getty, made to look older than her actual age (she and Arthur were born the same year).

The Golden Girls Cast

Notable guests to lend their talents to the show include Star Trek: Voyager's Robert Picardo ("The Operation"), Alice's Polly Holliday ("Blind Ambitions"), and WKRP in Cincinnati's Gordon Jump ("Big Daddy"). In addition, Harold Gould (Rhoda), who appears in "Rose the Prude," would return as a (different) recurring character five years later.

The Golden Girls ran for seven seasons and spawned spin-off The Golden Palace (without Arthur) and a British version called The Brighton Belles. By the end of its run in 1992, it had garnered numerous awards, including two Emmys for best comedy series. In addition, each of the four actresses received a well-deserved Emmy for her efforts.

Cast & Characters

  • Bea Author as Dorothy Zbornak
  • Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux
  • Betty White as Rose Nylund
  • Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo
  • Herb Edelman As Stan Zbornak
  • Harold Gould as Miles Webber

Broadcast History

The Golden GirlsFirst Telecast: September 14, 1985
Last Telecast: May 9, 1992
Original Network:  NBC
Number of Seasons: 7
Number of Episodes: 180
Original Primetime TV Schedule:
  • September 1985- July 1991, NBC, Saturday 9:00-9:30pm
  • August 1991- September 1991, NBC, Saturday 8:00-8:30pm
  • September 1991- May 1992, NBC, Saturday 9:00-9:30pm

Theme Song Lyrics & Opening Credits

"Thank You for Being a Friend," by Andrew Gold, sung by Cynthia Fee

Thank you for being a friend,
Travel down the road and back again,
Your heart is true,
You're a pal and a confidant!
And if you threw a party,
Invited everyone you knew!
You would see,
The biggest gift would be from me,
And the card attached would say,
Thank you for being a friend!
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The Golden Girls on DVD

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Golden Girls Trivia

The Golden Girls was so popular that it "spun-off" two other series titled, "Empty Nest" and "The Golden Palace".

The Golden Girls was in the top 10 in the Nielsen ratings for each of its seven seasons! It was seen by audiences in 60 countries around the world!

Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty guest-starred on "Blossom" and "Empty Nest" in their Golden Girls/Golden Palace roles as Rose, Blanche, and Sophia respectively. Estelle Getty also appeared as Sophia on the series, "Nurses (1991)".

Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney/Touchstone who produced the Golden Girls, was not totally sold on the original pilot script. He wondered how big the audience was for a series about three old ladies living together. When the character Sophia was added, he was sold! Eisner felt that a daughter dealing with her mom would appeal to a wider audience and he was right!

The pilot script also included a gay male who cooked, cleaned, etc. for the Golden Girls but that role was deleted when Sophia was added.

Estelle Getty played Beatrice Arthur's mother on The Golden Girls but, in real-life, Arthur is seventy-three days older than Getty!

Betty White was originally hired to play the role of Blanche on The Golden Girls and Rue McClanahan was hired to play the role of Rose. Betty White was best known at that time for her role as the extremely dynamic "Sue Ann Nivens" on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show". Rue was best known from her role as the timid and subdued "Vivian" on the series "Maude". Both Betty and Rue were concerned about becoming typecast and NBC was afraid that audiences might confuse their characters with their former ones so they switched roles to play characters that were nearly exact opposites from their former ones.

Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, and Estelle Getty all won Emmy Awards for their roles on The Golden Girls!

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