TV Trivia: Golden Girls

Q1. What was the name of The Golden Girls theme song?

Q2. Which of the 4 female stars – Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Betty White as Rose Nylund, and Estelle Getty as Dorothy’s mother Sophia Petrillo – was not in the spin-off TV series The Golden Palace, when The Golden Girls ended in 1992?

The Golden Girls TV show about four single, 50+ women (either widowed or divorced mothers with grown children) living together in Miami, Florida was in the Top Ten for most of it’s run from 1985-1992. Ironically, actress Estelle Getty was 62 when the series premiered and was heavily made up to play 63-year-old Bea Arthur’s (Dorothy) feisty 80-year old mother Sophia.

51-year-old Rue McClanahan fulfilled the role of what today would be called the series “cougar” as man-hungry Blanche, and 63-year-old Betty White was the slightly goofy, sweet Rose Nylund from St. Olaf, Minnesota.

By the time the series ended all of the actresses except for Rue McClanahan, were senior citizens. The series explored the topics of aging, older women, “retirement” and senior dating, among others.

Although the picture above makes it look like “the girls” were all chummy, that was neither the case onscreen or behind the scenes for The Golden Girls characters or cast. Bea Arthur’s character Dorothy Zbornak was a often frustrated with the other girls and came across as angry. This may not have been much different than Bea Arthur was in real life; co-star Betty White has said that Arthur was reserved and not all that fond of her.

Estelle Getty passed away in 2008 (age 84), Bea Arthur passed away in 2009 (age 86), Rue McClanahan in 2010 (age 76), and sadly nonagenarian Betty White died in 2021 (December 31), just weeks before what would have been her 100th birthday.

A1. The Golden Girls theme song was Thank You For Being A Friend, originally written and recorded by Andrew Gold in 1978. It was re-recorded by Cynthia Fee for The Golden Girls, and for the series spin-off Golden Palace.

A2. Bea Arthur’s desire to leave The Golden Girls heralded the end of the series; in the series finale Dorothy married Blanche‘s (Rue McClanahan) Uncle Lucas, played by Leslie Nielsen, and they move from Miami to Atlanta. The other 3 stars appeared in the subsequent spin-off series, The Golden Palace.

Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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