Edit
The Golden Girls (TV Series 1985–1992) Poster

(1985–1992)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (3)
It was not originally scripted for Blanche to have a Southern accent. Instead, it was Rue McClanahan's idea to do so.
320 of 321 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When the show first aired, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother loved it so much that she wrote to the four actresses and asked them to perform a live show especially for her. They obliged, and acted out a sketch during the The Royal Variety Performance 1988 (1988), at which the Queen Mother was present, in which the girls are depicted onstage visiting London, first interacting with the host Ronnie Corbett and then sitting down for dinner, recreating various moments from previous episodes.
583 of 591 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The actresses consumed over 100 cheesecakes during the show's seven-year run. Bea Arthur hated cheesecake in real life.
379 of 383 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the "Herring War" story that Rose tells, Rue and Bea break character as the scene got so out of hand that they were going to cut the scene from the episode entirely, but they kept it in the episode to show just how good the comedy in the show could be.
119 of 119 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Betty White was the oldest of the four main actresses. Ironically, with the death of Rue McClanahan, she became the last surviving member of the cast. To make facts even more ironic, White was also the oldest of the eight regulars of The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) and eventually (in 2021) became the last surviving as well.
396 of 402 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rue McClanahan was found asleep in all sorts of places on the set.
346 of 351 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rue McClanahan had a clause written into her contract that she be allowed to keep all of Blanche's custom-made clothing. McClanahan had 13 closets filled with the designer wardrobe in her Sutton Place co-op in Manhattan.
248 of 251 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Betty White and Estelle Getty both received seven Emmy nominations, while Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan only received four. All four actresses won Emmys for their performances.
235 of 238 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Betty White had always been a fierce competitor when she had appeared on Password back in the day, and she found a kindred spirit in Rue McClanahan when it came to word games. The two ladies frequently played alphabet games in between takes (for example, if the topic was cars, they would take turns naming different brands - Audi, Buick, Cadillac-alphabetically) throughout the entire day of taping.
235 of 238 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty underwent a face-lift between the first and second seasons, much to the horror of the make-up crew who already had to go to great lengths to make Getty look old on camera.
341 of 347 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Although there were four women living in the house, there were always only three chairs around that famous kitchen table. That was strictly due to the limits of filming-to avoid either squeezing all four shoulder-to-shoulder or having one actress with her back to the camera. Bea Arthur was always given the center chair, both because of her height and also in order to catch her priceless facial expressions in reaction to either Blanche's remembrance of sexual encounters past, Rose's St. Olaf story, or Sophia's "Picture it!" monologue.
265 of 269 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Bea Arthur initially resisted efforts to be cast in the series. She saw it as redundant for her and Rue McClanahan to essentially reprise their roles from Maude, with Betty White more or less in her same role from The The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) Show. Arthur finally agreed when McClanahan told her that she and White decided to swap roles.
221 of 224 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Throughout the series, there are many jokes made by the girls at Rose regarding her natural hair color. Betty White is in fact a natural brunette and dyes her hair blonde.
206 of 209 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The show was originally intended to end after Season 5 but Bea Arthur agreed to stay 2 more years.
132 of 133 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
It took 45 minutes in make-up to transform Estelle Getty into Sophia.
198 of 202 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In several episodes which showed flashbacks to when Dorothy and Sophia were living in New York during the '40s and '50s, Estelle Getty appears without the wig and makeup.
195 of 199 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In The Golden Girls: Sophia's Choice (1989), the story revolves around Sophia trying to get better retirement home care for her friend Lillian after breaking her out of a "bottom of the barrel" type. In the last scene, Rose suggests they make a pact that they will always stick together so they won't battle old age alone; Blanche adds that they all should go to a nursing home together. Rose then adds "but what happens when there is only one of us left?" which, after a reflective yet morbid pause, Sophia replies "Don't worry, I can take care of myself." The eerie coincidence of this scene is that, Betty White has outlived her costars, becoming "the only one left" as her line once questioned. They are also sitting in the order in which they passed away.
205 of 210 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the first season exteriors of the house were shot from a real house in California. For later seasons exterior shots were filmed at Walt Disney World's MGM Studios (now "Disney's Hollywood Studios"). They built an exact replica of the house in Orlando. This replica was demolished in 2003.
153 of 156 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In one episode, Blanche wants to watch the soap opera Another World (1964). Rue McClanahan, who played Blanche, made several appearances on that soap opera.
107 of 109 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Betty White played Rose Nylund on four different shows: Empty Nest (1988), Nurses (1991), The Golden Girls (1985) and The Golden Palace (1992)
106 of 108 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to Betty White, she and Bea Arthur did not get along throughout the series.
303 of 315 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The idea for the show came from NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff. While visiting his elderly aunt one day, he saw how she and her next-door neighbor, who was also her best friend, interacted. They would argue and bicker a lot, but they were still best friends and loved each other. Tartikoff thought that would make a great show.
189 of 195 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The first episode attracted more than 25 million viewers, beating out The Cosby Show (1984) for the number one spot in the ratings that week.
122 of 125 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Due to Estelle Getty's intense stage fright, during Friday tapings she would often freeze on camera. She was the least experienced actress of the four, and it intimidated her. She stated in a 1988 interview that working every week with talent like Bea Arthur and Betty White scared her out of her wits. She felt like a fraud and worried that the fans would "find out" that she wasn't as good as her co-stars.
235 of 244 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Both Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur were Jewish, not Italian. Reportedly, Getty used to ask the producers "couldn't we just make [Dorothy and Sophia] Jewish?" The producers wouldn't budge.
94 of 96 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Bea Arthur did not have pierced ears, thus all those "crazy earrings" (her words) that Golden Girls stylist Judy Evans gave Dorothy were clip-ons. Arthur loved the dramatic effect of the jewelry, but hated that her ears were numb with pain by the end of the day.
149 of 154 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The show was a hit in sixty countries and remade in England, Greece, Mexico, the Netherlands and Russia.
112 of 115 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The producers originally wanted Rue McClanahan to play a version of naive Vivian Cavender from Maude (1972), and Betty White to play a version of man-hungry Sue Ann Nivens from The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970). They switched roles because they didn't want to be typecast. Also the switching of roles persuaded Bea Arthur to join the cast.
111 of 114 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The show garnered a total of 68 Emmy nominations.
110 of 113 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty (Sophia) is 1 year, 2 months, and 12 days younger than Bea Arthur (Dorothy), even though Sophia is Dorothy's mother.
191 of 199 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to a Bravo documentary about the show the writers' racy jokes were usually censored and then softened for network viewings. An example, Dorothy and Sofia were playing Scrabble. Dorothy tells Sofia "Ma! Pizwam is not a word!" Sofia responds "Yes there is! This pool is Pizwam!" NBC strongly vetoed this joke, which was changed to the following exchange: "Ma! Disdam is not a word!" Sofia responds: "Yes it is ! You're no good at disdam game!"
45 of 45 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rue McClanahan has stated that she was originally against the idea of a Golden Girls spin off (which aired as The Golden Palace). McClanahan asked the producers if they could write a new room mate in for the Girls. The producers briefly considered the idea and even spoke with Doris Roberts to join the show.
120 of 124 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This was one of the few series of its era to include openly gay and lesbian characters. The Pilot featured the Girls' openly gay personal chef Coco. Blanche's openly gay brother, Clayton, appeared in a few episodes. Another episode featured an old friend of Dorothy's, who was a lesbian. At least one other episode dealt with the theme of HIV/AIDS. The series had a strong following among the LGBT community.
272 of 286 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Blanche's name came from that of Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
82 of 84 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dorothy has two children: Kate and Michael. Blanche has six children: Matthew, Janet, Biff, Doug, Skippy and Rebecca. Rose has 5 children: Charlie Jr., Adam, Gunilla, Kirsten, and Bridget. Sophia has three children: Dorothy, Phil, and Gloria.
161 of 168 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rose's Norwegian is mostly gibberish, and usually adds to the humor when seen as a subtitle. With her accent and pronunciation, it comes off as genuine.
174 of 182 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The writers of the show always tried to give Sophia the raciest lines. They did this because her character had a stroke earlier in life, which made her unable to control the things she was able to say.
156 of 163 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rose was the only character whose husband, Charlie, was never depicted on the show. Dorothy's ex-husband, Stan, was a recurring character. Sophia's husband, Sal, was seen in flashbacks. Blanche's husband, George, was depicted in a dream.
124 of 129 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to her EmmyTvLegends interview Rue McClanahan said the Golden Girls were not very close off screen, except for her and Betty. The others were not really friends.
89 of 92 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In The Golden Girls: Break In (1985), Rose says that her hometown is Little Falls. In all the episodes after that, she says that her hometown is St. Olaf. Arguably, it could just have been a village or townland on the outskirts of St Olaf.
69 of 71 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When the actresses trying out for the part of Dorothy, the description of the character was "a Bea Arthur-esque role".
97 of 101 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Cynthia Fee sang the theme song "Thank You for Being a Friend". It was originally written and recorded in 1978 by Andrew Gold, whose version was a hit on the Billboard Pop Chart.
95 of 99 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Many actors and actresses were invited back to play different characters. Harold Gould played two of Rose's boyfriends, Arnie and Miles. Bill Dana played Sophia's brother Angelo and her father. Ellen Albertini Dow played Sophia's friend Lillian and an unnamed hospital patient with a flower cart. Chick Vennera played a prize fighter and TV reporter Enrique Mas. Paul Dooley played Rose's date Isaac Newton and a neighbor doctor for a pilot of what became Empty Nest (1988). Philip Sterling played two different psychiatrists. Sid Melton played Sophia's late husband and a jester at a restaurant. George Grizzard played Blanche's late husband and her brother-in-law. Numerous other actors with much smaller parts were asked back twice, sometimes to play non-speaking extras.
78 of 81 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty played Sophia on six different shows: The Golden Girls (1985), The Golden Palace (1992), Empty Nest (1988), Blossom (1990), Nurses (1991) and Ladies Man (1999).
103 of 108 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The three actresses who passed away died in three consecutive calendar years. Estelle Getty died in 2008 at the age of 84, Bea Arthur died in 2009 at the age of 86, and Rue McClanahan, the youngest of the four, died in 2010 at the age of 76 giving her the shortest longevity. All of them were younger than Betty White, who celebrated turning 99 on January 17, 2021 and was only 4 months older than Bea Arthur.
63 of 65 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Numerous episodes involve jokes about the girls unintentionally encountering a penis, whether real, in a painting, or even an erotic cake. Each time, Dorothy's reaction is the same: "Whoa!"
111 of 117 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Though it is widely believed that Blanche's age is never actually revealed, in The Golden Girls: Mother's Day (1988), it is admitted in a flashback that Blanche was 17 in 1939. That would make her 63 years old when the series began in 1985 and 70 when it ended in 1992. However, in the episode "End of the Curse" (season 2 episode 1), Blanche, believing she is pregnant, states she will be 65 when the child graduates high school. Sophia corrects her by saying Blanche will be 70. Subtracting 18 (the age at which many graduate HS) from 65 would make Blanche 47 at that moment. If Sophia was correct, then taking 18 from 70 would put Blanche at 52. In real life, Rue McClanahan was actually 52 when this particular episode aired.
153 of 163 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In DVD commentary on an episode, Rue McClanahan says that she and Betty White used to leave each other riddles and puzzles to solve on the bulletin board in the kitchen.
60 of 62 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When the original pilot script was submitted to Disney/Touchstone, Michael Eisner liked it but he felt something was missing. He thought a show about three old women living together might scare away younger viewers. He asked Susan Harris to keep working on it. Harris then added the character of Sophia. When she was added, Dorothy became just another woman dealing with her mother and Eisner loved it. After Sophia was added and a pilot was shot, a character named Coco, a gay male servant was cut from the series.
91 of 96 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Harold Gould played "Arnie Peterson" in "Rose the Prude" (episode # 1.3) as Rose's first boyfriend since her husband, before going on to becoming Rose's regular boyfriend, Miles.
56 of 58 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty was the second youngest of the four main actresses, yet her character, Sophia, was the eldest of the four main characters. Ironically, Getty was also the first of three actresses to pass away. Betty White is the last surviving member of the cast.
87 of 92 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
A young George Clooney made an appearance as a young cop in "To Catch A Neighbor" in season 2.
54 of 56 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The house's kitchen was recycled from the short-lived Susan Harris series It Takes Two (1982), which ran in 1982-83. After the first few episodes in season 1, the polka dot wallpaper of the original kitchen was replaced with a leafy pattern, deemed to be more "tropical" in appearance.
64 of 67 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Just prior to the series, Rue McClanahan and Betty White appeared together in episodes of Mama's Family (1983), on which they both had semi-regular roles.
82 of 87 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 1992, when Bea Arthur left the show, it was retooled by Susan Harris and became The Golden Palace (1992).
81 of 86 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Blanche's father, Big Daddy, was originally played by Murray Hamilton. Upon Hamilton's death, the role was recast with David Wayne.
50 of 52 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
All four main characters (Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia) appear in every episode.
59 of 62 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Stories abounded that the exclamation point seen on the back of the front door was carved into the wood by Bea Arthur prior to the filming of the first episode. It has been stated by the creators that the story about Arthur carving it was not true, rather that it was just a flaw/mark in the wood and has no significance.
61 of 65 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty had trouble remembering her lines and, in later seasons of the show, had to rely on cue cards. Getty suffered from osteoporosis, and was also thought to have Parkinson's disease. This diagnosis was ultimately changed to dementia with Lewy bodies.
43 of 45 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the pilot episode Blanche's surname is Hollingsworth, not Devereaux (as in subsequent episodes). Blanche's maiden name was Hollingsworth, her married name was Devereaux.
58 of 62 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Almost every time the door opens and Stan (Herb Edelman) appears, he always says, "Hi, it's me, Stan."
58 of 62 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In an episode, Sophia (Estelle Getty) and Dorothy (Bea Arthur) dress up like Sonny and Cher. By mistake, Blanche (Rue McClanahan) mistakes them for Cheech and Chong. Cheech Marin would star with Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty, and Betty White in the spin-off series "The Golden Palace".
49 of 52 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Hugh Jackman has admitted to being a huge fan.
146 of 163 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Bea Arthur, who was not close to the other cast members, did not stay in touch with her Golden Girls co-stars after the show ended.
63 of 68 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rue McClanahan and Betty White guest starred in the the same Love Boat episode, " How Do I Love Thee?/No More Alimony/Authoress! Authoress!".
29 of 30 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Terry Hughes was the show's most billed director, directing 108 episodes. Hughes left in 1990 after the episode "All Bets are Off". The show possibly never recovered after Hughes left as a result, new writing staff were brought in to compensate for the loss of Hughes.
19 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Bea Arthur's adopted son Matthew Saks, actually appeared briefly in "The Monkey Show" in season 7 as cop #2.
35 of 37 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Broadway legend Elaine Stritch was considered for the role of Dorothy. According to Stritch, many of the NBC executives in her audition liked her but Susan Harris didn't and felt she was too vulgar for the role. In her one-woman show, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty (2002)", Stritch recounted that she "blew" the audition by trying to break the ice by asking if she could improvise with the dialogue a little, and then, as a joke, changing the line "Ying, don't forget the hors d'oeuvres" into "Ying, don't forget the fucking hors d'oeuvres."
49 of 53 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When asked by Rose about her marriage in the first episode of the series, Dorothy says she is from Queens. In all the other episodes, Dorothy says she is from Brooklyn.
50 of 55 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Lee Grant was asked to play Dorothy, but she refused to play a woman who was old enough to be a grandmother. Lee Grant's daughter, Dinah Manoff, went on to play Carol Weston in the Golden Girls spinoff, Empty Nest.
50 of 55 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The show had two recurring "unseen" characters (those continually mentioned throughout the run of the show but never depicted onscreen), these were: Philip (Phil) Petrillo, Dorothy's cross-dressing brother (and Sophia's son), and Charlie Nylund, Rose's late husband. Sophia and Blanche's late husband's were depicted either in flashbacks, as a visiting "ghost", or in a "dream" episode.
15 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The series often looked at what life was like for senior women who get widowed, like Rose, or divorced after long marriages, like Dorothy. In real life, star Bea Arthur (Dorothy) had divorced Gene Saks after 28 years, and Betty White (Rose) was a widow.
15 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In 2003, an off Broadway production of the show titled "The Golden Girls: Live!" ran for several months before Susan Harris, the shows creator, demanded the production be stopped. The entire cast consisted of male actors in drag.
74 of 84 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Veronica Lee interviewed Bea Arthur for the Guardian, when she was doing a one woman show. Lee saw that Bea was drinking bourbon. "It's good for the throat dear". Lee tried to delicately broach all the long-standing Hollywood rumors about Bea's alcoholism. "We are not going to talk about my addiction to alcohol at this show tonight", Bea answered.
26 of 28 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Brandon Tartikoff, then head of NBC, originally conceived the idea for the show during a NBC affiliate meeting promoting new shows for the 1984-1985 television season. Actress Selma Diamond, of Night Court (1984) fame, and actress Doris Roberts, then of Remington Steele (1982) fame, performed an opening monologue the proved to be a hit with the audiences. Tartikoff apparently began to ponder the idea about doing a sitcom dealing with the trials and tribulations of older women.
30 of 33 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In The Golden Girls: Big Daddy's Little Lady (1986) when the girls are in the kitchen having cheesecake and Rose starts to tell a story, Blanche cuts in and says "must we take yet another trip to Petticoat Junction?" Betty White had actually appeared in one episode of Petticoat Junction (1963) back in 1969 (Petticoat Junction: The Cannonball Bookmobile (1969)).
60 of 70 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
According to an article, many years after the show had ended, Bea Arthur had to be reminded by her agent of events the ladies were requested to be at. When at the 2008 TV Land Awards, it was one of Bea's last public appearances and she gave one last interview in 2008 as well.
18 of 19 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
One of the TV stage managers on this show from 1987 until 1992, Kent Zbornak, has the same last name as two of the characters, Dorothy Zbornak and Stanley Zbornak.
59 of 69 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
While filming a "Columbo - 'Ashes to Ashes' " (Movie of the Week in the Spring of 1998) at Universal-MCA Film City-Studios, Rue McClanahan performed in a guest role, as 'Verity Chandler' - a nasty devious miserably wicked evil tongued Hollywood gossip columnist - on Peter Falk's "Columbo" MOW prime-time-network special. The film was written by, directed, and featured actor Patrick McGoohan - as Eric Prince, seething with resentment of his ex-lover Verity, murderous and bloodthirsty for revenge. During breaks in filming, Rue McClanahan related to Falk's production designer Hub Braden's question when asked - "In 'The Golden Girls' series - how much did each of the featured performers contribute, ad-lib, improvise in their first Monday sit-down read of their dialogue for their character's role?" McClanahan's response was a matter-of-fact statement to his inquiry! "Not much! Bea Arthur arrived in the rehearsal hall, just sat at the conference table and read her lines. Ditto for Estelle Getty. Betty White and myself would interject comments, and usually, our ad-lib/improv dialogue ideas were noted, accepted by Susan Harris, with our spontaneous line idea interjected into our current script. Bea Arthur performed, reading exactly, what she had been given to say; the same, as well - with Estelle. Betty and myself were usually animated in our dialogue readings, bouncing off with an ad-lib or other flippant dialogue. We all delivered our lines exactly as scripted in our final live television performances. We never improvised in filming. Bea and Estelle were full-filling their acting-job during rehearsals and performances! We were all very professional!".
33 of 37 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the seven seasons on the air at NBC, The Golden Girls was nominated for 68 Emmy Awards and won a total of 11 Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series twice for its first two seasons. For its first season (1985-86) it was nominated for 15 Emmys (winning 4); the second season (1986-87) it received 14 Emmy nominations (winning 3); the third season (1987-88) it received 12 nominations (winning 3); the fourth season (1988-89) it got 10 nominations; the fifth season (1989-90) it got 8 nominations; the sixth season (1990-91) it got 6 nominations; and the seven and final season (1991-92) it got 3 nominations (winning 1). In addition, The Golden Girls received a total of 21 Golden Globe nominations and won four Golden Globes. Three of the four Golden Globes it won were for Best Comedy/Musical Series for its first three seasons.
22 of 24 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Harold Gould, Nancy Walker and Betty White were all on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls.
11 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Golden Girls spunoff into Golden Palace; which has the lead characters running a hotel; much like Sanford and Son spunoff into Sanford Arms.
11 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the early 1990s, in a dispute over the network's per-episode licensing fee, Touchstone Television considered taking the still-running show away from NBC and offering it to CBS or ABC.
30 of 34 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty and Harold Gould (who played Rose's boyfriend Miles) both featured in the 1999 film "Stuart Little", playing the family's Grandma Estelle and Grandpa Spencer.
10 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Some media critics and insiders referred to the show as "Miami Nice", a contrasting reference to the popular TV series Miami Vice (1984).
36 of 42 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
All four Golden Girls have sisters. Dorothy's sister is Gloria, Rose's sisters are Holly and Lily, Sophia's sister is Angela, and Blanche's two sisters are Virginia and Charmaine.
30 of 35 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rose Nylund's hometown, St. Olaf, MN, is actually a tribute to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
14 of 15 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Many sets are used in the show. For instance, the background set with two elevator doors is used as the backdrop for numerous interiors: the museum where Blanche works, the counseling center where Rose works, a city hospital, and a psychiatrist's waiting room.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty, playing the woman who is the most experienced widow, was actually married to one person more years than any of the other three main actresses in real life.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Most notable celebrities to have appeared on this series include: Mario Lopez, Jerry Orbach, John Fiedeler, Leslie Nielson, Tony Jay, Mickey Rooney, George Clooney, Burt Reynolds. This show launched the acting career of Mario Lopez.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Dorothy's son Michael appeared in The Golden Girls: Sophia's Choice (1989) in season 2, he was 29 years old according to Dorothy. But when he appeared in The Golden Girls: Mixed Blessings (1988) in season 3, he was only 23 years old.
23 of 27 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The ladies' bedrooms symbolize each of their characteristics. Blanche's bedroom looks like a hotel room with its palm tree decor and two armchairs. Blanche is known for having many men in her company. Dorothy's bedroom has wallpaper described as regal with shelves full of books. Dorothy is known for being stately and intelligent. Sophia's bedroom is small and has chic floral wallpaper. Sophia is known for being simple and wise. Rose's bedroom has wallpaper with clouds on it and a couch by the window. The other three ladies always remark that Rose "has her head in the clouds" and needs professional help (hence the stereotypical therapist's couch).
11 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Estelle Getty and Betty White were on SuperPassword once in 1986. Their guest star on the episode was Lucille Ball.
17 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the seventh episode in season five 'Not Another Monday', Blanche, Rose, and Dorothy attempt to sing a baby to sleep. They harmonise the song 'Mr Sandman', reminiscent of Three Men and a Baby where the song 'Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight' is harmonised to put baby Mary to sleep.
27 of 34 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This show had three spin-offs. Golden Palace bombed after about a season. Empty Nest was a huge hit that ran for many seasons. Nurses ran for three seasons while it sometimes was viewed by more viewers than it's mother series Golden Girls and Empty Nest.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The very first three (3) episodes of this show all deal directly or indirectly with marriage. In "The Golden Girls":#1:1:The Golden Girls: The Engagement (1985), Blanche nearly gets remarried and is seen wearing a wedding dress. In #1:2:The Golden Girls: Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding? (1985), Dorothy's daughter is married at the house and Dorothy finally deals with her own divorce from Stan. In #1:3:The Golden Girls: Rose the Prude (1985), Rose admits to still grieving over the end of her marriage due to her husband's death.
11 of 13 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In "Up (2009)", there is a "Shady Oaks Retirement Village". It's very likely to be an in-joke reference to the earlier Disney/Touchstone Television series "The Golden Girls (1985)" and Sophia's very dubious retirement home "Shady Pines".
38 of 54 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Today, 1/17/2021, is Betty White's 99th birthday. She has outlived the other lead stars. Bea Arthur died on 4/25/2009, Estelle Getty died on 7/22/2008, Rue McClanahan died on 6/3/2010.
10 of 12 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When the show was first being pitched in 1983 one actress that was considered for a role in the show was Angela Lansbury. However, her manager dissuaded her from taking the role suggesting she do a drama instead. Not long after that she was offered her iconic role of Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote (1984).
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Of all the shows that aired at the time on Thursday nights, this was the only one to topple The Cosby Show for the number 1 spot.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the episode "Beauty and the Beast" Blanche's granddaughter is supposed to perform "Put on a Happy Face" from Bye, Bye Birdie at a beauty pageant. Dick Van Dyke originated the character of Albert Peterson in Bye, Bye Birdie and made that song a signature of sorts. Van Dyke would guest star as one of Dorothy's boyfriends in the season 5 episode "Love Under the Big Top".
13 of 18 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The girls indulge in more than 100 cheesecakes over the series' 7-year run. However, Bea Arthur actually hated cheesecake.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Both Betty White and Bea Arthur had previously appeared in failed remakes of the British TV Sitcom Fawlty Towers. White in the 1978 pilot 'Snavely' with Harvey Korman and Arthur in 'Amanda's', which lasted one season in 1983.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Rue played Ruth Remply, one half of the wife-swapping duo in the " All in the Family" episode "The Bunkers and the Swingers". This crazy, promiscuous character is very similar to Blanche on The Golden Girls.
13 of 21 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The names Angela, Myron, and Gloria are used for more than one character.
9 of 14 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dorothy is seen playing gin rummy several times in the series. Most of the time, it's with Sophia. One time, Dorothy plays with Blanche. Not once did Dorothy win a game.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dorothy's (Bea Arthur) last name Zbornak was inspired by Kent Zbornak who worked as a stage manager on the show.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
In the season 4 episode Brother Can You Spare That Jacket, the character Kenny is played by Karl Wiedergott, who would go on to become a regular voice actor in The Simpsons (1989), appearing in over 250 episodes to date.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
During the first season of the series Rose would mention in the episode "The Break In" that she hailed from Little Falls, Minnesota. Every other episode of the season has her talking about being from Minnesota but without any mention of a specific town. It wasn't until season two episode two "Ladies of the Evening" that she would mention that she was from the crazy town of Saint Olaf whose many stories she would relate about would become a hallmark of the character.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The Golden Girls is one of four live-action shows, along with All in the Family (1971), Will & Grace (1998), and Schitt's Creek (2015), where all the principal actors have won at least one Emmy.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
This show is known influencing all of the female ensemble shows (The Facts of Life (1979), Desperate Housewives (2004), Sex and the City (1998)) that aired after because at the time this show was ahead of it's time with all of its storylines. Except that The Facts of Life (1979) came out SIX years beforehand.
3 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Scott Jacoby, who played Dorothy's musician son Michael Zbornak and Billy Jayne. who played Blanche's wild-child grandson David, are brothers in real-life.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Karl Wiedergott who played homeless Kenny in the "Brother Can You Spare A Dime" episode also played one of Blanche's grandson David's punk friends in the "On Golden Girls" episode.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
The only girl that doesn't get ripped on all the time is Sophia. (Probably because she's so much older).
1 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In The Golden Girls: Sophia's Wedding: Part 1 (1988), one of the several Elvis impersonators seen in the wedding is director Quentin Tarantino.
93 of 93 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
When Dorothy is saying her goodbyes in the final scene, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan and Betty White were told Bea Arthur would run back in the door for a second goodbye. When Dorothy came round the side of their house, the surprised reactions were genuine. After Dorothy leaves for the second and final time, the actresses thought Bea would come for a third goodbye, them looking around for her was genuine.
93 of 93 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink
Dorothy's brother Phil is always talked about but he's never seen. He is a cross dresser, married to a woman and has kids with her. He dies from a heart attack in season 6.
46 of 47 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook   |  Twitter   |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed