Four Golden Girls: Their Destiny After the Show
There is hardly a more loved older cast than the one from “Golden Girls”. It was impossible not to love every second of the time we spent watching the adorable Miami friends and housemates Betty White, Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty. But what happened to the golden cast after the end of the show in 1992?
Some facts you probably didn't know about the show
Some of the girls weren't that into each other
The 4 actresses did an amazing job in convincing viewers of the close bond between their characters om the show, and generally speaking, they also managed to maintain a good relationship behind the scenes as well. From playing games in between takes to having lunch together every day, their chemistry off-set definitely contributed to the show's success.
But the truth is, it wasn't always fun and games, especially because of Bea Arthur's less than diplomatic personality. Her feud with co-star Betty White was quite known among the show's staff and cast. It seems that Arthur found White's positive attitude and success very annoying.
"She was not that fond of me," White said of Arthur in 2011. "She found me a pain in the neck sometimes. It was my positive attitude — and that made Bea mad sometimes. Sometimes if I was happy, she'd be furious!"
One of the girls wasn't that golden
Estelle Getty played the 80-year-old matriarch of the show, but it seems that she wasn't that "golden" in real life. Getty was only 62 when she started playing the role of Sophia Petrillo. She got the part by appearing at the audition dressed as a little old lady. White was actually the oldest of the 4 actresses.
The girls had a very special fan
The show was definitely a favorite for millions of viewers worldwide, but there was one particular fan that stood out. In 1988 the cast was invited to perform at the Royal Variety Performance by the British Queen Mother. Apparently, this particular royal member loved them. The "pretty girls'" (as the Queen called them) live performance was a huge hit.
“It was very exciting,” White recalled. “The Queen was lovely. We were told not to address her unless we were addressed. She was up in a box and she came down on stage after with Princess Anne. She said, ‘Lovely, pretty girls’ and I said, ‘Not bad bodies,’ and she said ‘Oh, no, not bad bodies!'”
What happened to the Golden Girls?
Betty White as Rose Nylund
Come on, let’s face it, Betty White is, undoubtedly, one of the sweetest and most charismatic actresses there is (and the one with the longest career apparently). Although already a veteran actress by the time “Golden Girls” first hit the small screen (weren’t all the Golden Girls veterans?), the show opened up a series of new opportunities for her.
As the only member of the cast to get an Emmy nomination for Best Actress every single year (which she won during the first season), Betty went on to appear on a large number of TV shows after the end of “Golden Girls” in 1992, from “Malcolm in the Middle” to “The Bold and the Beautiful and “Boston Legal”.
She has "appeared" as herself on several animation series such as “The Simpsons”, “King of the Hill” and “Family Guy” and played roles in films such as "Lake Placid" and "The Proposal", before taking a recurrent role in the hilarious sitcom "Hot in Cleaveland", from 2010 to 2015.
2010 was also the year Betty was invited to host Saturday Night Live. Would you be surprised if we told you that it became the most-watched SNL episode ever? We didn't think so. One of her most recent acting roles was as character Bitey White in the blockbuster animation movie "Toy Story 4". Long live Betty.
Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak
Bea Arthur was already carrying around a Tony Award by the time she joined the cast of the "Golden Girls" as the strong and sarcastic, but caring, Dorothy. Bea was the only one of the girls that chose not to participate in the "Golden Girls" spinoff "The Golden Palace" after the show ended.
She got an Emmy nomination in 2000 for her guest role in the show "Malcolm in the Middle" and went on to star as the only cast member on a few self-titled TV shows such as "An Evening with Bea Arthur" and "And Then There's Bea" as well as the Broadway show "Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends".
Her last acting role before passing away in 2009 after a long battle with cancer, was in the show "Curb your Enthusiasm" as Larry's mother. An animal and civil rights activist her whole life, the actress donated $300,000 to The Ali Forney Center to help provide housing to homeless LGBT youngsters.
Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux
Come on, who could resist Blanche's sweet, charming Southern accent? According to the number of suitors, she had after her husband passed away, not that many people. When Rue started doing "Golden Girls" she was already considered the Queen of soap operas, but when the show ended she went on to appear on slightly different projects.
Besides being part of the Golden Girls spinoff and appearing on several different shows and movies, Rue also played a few roles in children's shows such as "Spider-Man: The Animated Series", "The Wonderful World of Disney" and "Blue's Big Treasure Hunt". She also went on to play recurrent roles in the shows "Safa Harbor" and "Sordid Lives: The Series".
Sadly, Rue also passed away in 2010, one year after fellow Golden Girl Bea, from a brain hemorrhage. Her last known acting role was on the show "Meet the Browns" in 2009, just before having a heart surgery that caused her to have a small stroke.
Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo
Dorothy's mother Sophia never had any problems or limitations when it came to speaking her mind. The blunt and uncensored Italian always had a sassy remark to make about Dorothy being single, Rose being kind of clueless and Blanche's popularity among men. Estelle's character didn't "die" when the show ended, though.
Sophia was such a popular character that Estelle would end up playing her again on the show's spinoffs "Golden Palace", "Empty Nest" and "Nurses". She continued appearing on a few other shows and movies such as "Stuart Little" and "The Million Dollar Kid", up until 2000 when she was diagnosed with dementia.
In the early 90s, Estelle had to take care of her nephew Steven who was on the final stage of his battle with AIDS. This experience led her to become actively involved in gay rights and AIDS research from then on. The actress passed away in 2008 from her dementia condition, just before her 85th birthday.
A Golden Reunion
The time the girls moved to a Palace
"Golden Girls" came to an end in 1992, after Dorothy got married and moved away. But that didn't mean that the girls were done for good. In fact, at least three of them - White, McClanahan, and Getty - went on to continue their roles in the spinoff "The Golden Palace" that had them buying a hotel after their house was sold.
Bea Arthur was the only actress from "Golden Girls" not to be part of the spinoff regularly. The show, that also featured Don Cheadle as the hotel manager and Cheech Marin as the chef, didn't manage to have even a third of the success of the original and ended up being canceled after one season.
Spinoff after spinoff
What? You thought that was the end of the golden girls? Not yet! They also went on to make guest appearances in the show "Empty Nest" that aired from 1988 to 1995. The show began as a "Golden Girls" spinoff where the main characters were the girls' ex neighbors.
The characters made frequent guest appearances in each other's shows, and after the end of "The Golden Palace", Getty became a regular in "Empty Nest" with her character Sophia, as well as in the other spinoff called "Nurses", that aired from 1991 to 1994.
What a trip down memory lane this was. We suddenly got this urgent need of rewatching the girls on TV. Which one was your favorite character from the show? Let us know all about it in the comments section, and don't forget to share the article with other "golden" fans ou there!Sources: Buzzfeed, Hello Giggles, Women, Cheatsheet, ABC News, IMDB