Picture it…. America, 1985.
We were introduced to four mature women, three widowed and one divorced, sharing a home in Miami, Florida. Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia appeared on our TV screens and immediately made their way into our hearts. These Golden Girls showed us that age is just a number, family and friends are the most important things, and maybe — just maybe — our golden years can be some of our best years.
“The Golden Girls” was a groundbreaking show that wasn’t afraid to tackle a variety of social issues while portraying strong, confident, progressive women. Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia weren’t just characters on the television screen.
The Golden Girls
“The Golden Girls” wouldn’t have been the same without our four leading ladies. Each woman brought unique perspective and charm to the show, and — honestly —the cast couldn’t have been better. Let’s re-meet our Golden Girls.
Blanche Devereaux (portrayed by Rue McClanahan)
Blanche was our sassy Southern belle and resident flirt. Her confidence, passion, and outgoing personality made her an irresistible character right from the start. Ms. Devereaux was vivacious, enthusiastic, and adventurous, and she always had the best wardrobe.
Dorothy Zbornak (portrayed by Bea Arthur)
Dorothy was our no-nonsense straight shooter. She had a witty or sarcastic comment ready for every situation, and her reactions never failed to make us laugh. Dorothy was often the most level-headed of the girls, and we all came to trust her sage advice.
Rose Nylund (portrayed by Betty White)
Rose was the heart of the Golden Girls’ home. Her sweet and caring — yet naive — personality reminded us of the goodness and kindness in the world, and her St. Olaf stories were always good for a laugh. Though often misguided, Rose was sincere, earnest, open, and the friendliest of the bunch.
Sophia Petrillo (portrayed by Estelle Getty)
Sophia was the salt-of-the-earth mother figure in the group. While she was Dorothy’s mom, she loved the rest of the girls like they were her own. Sophia was known for her candid commentary, straightforward remarks, Sicilian stories, and worldly wisdom. In the end, she became like a mother to all of us.
Golden Girls: Still Relevant Today
Many older adults can relate to “The Golden Girls” even more now than when the show first aired. These ladies were able to create accurate portrayals of many things that we deal with as we age, including dating after losing a spouse, navigating relationships with adult children, and coming to terms with different health issues.
In one episode, “Hey, Look Me Over,” Dorothy fears that her mother Sophia is dealing with hearing loss. Dorothy and Sophia go in for a hearing test, and in a twist of events, it turns out that Dorothy needs hearing aids. Dorothy struggles to accept that she needs hearing aids but ultimately agrees to wear them to improve her hearing and everyday conversations.
If you or someone you love has hearing loss and needs captioned telephone service, consider CaptionCall. The scrolling captions will make your phone calls clearer than Rose’s St. Olaf stories.
The Golden Years: The Best Is Still to Come
Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia taught us that even as we grow older, some of the best years of our lives are still to come. Now, over three decades later, The Golden Girls
Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia taught us that even as we grow older, some of the best years of our lives are still to come. Now, over three decades later, The Golden Girls are still popular with old and new fans alike. September 14, 1985, marked the start of a beautiful friendship and here we are, 36 years later, still saying “thank you for being a friend.”
You can watch all seven seasons of “The Golden Girls,” with subtitles, on Hulu.
The Golden Girls Quiz
Read the questions below. Keep track of the Golden Girl you pick most often!
- It’s Friday night. How are you spending your time?
- Volunteering (Rose)
- Playing cards (Sophia)
- On a date (Blanche)
- Reading a good book (Dorothy)
- You’re invited to go on a last-minute vacation and have to leave soon. Do you go?
- It sounds fun, but I need to think about it a little. (Rose)
- Sure, why not. At least it gets me out of here. (Sophia)
- Yes, ma’am! Just let me pack! (Blanche)
- I just don’t have the time to prepare. (Dorothy)
- Speaking of an impromptu vacation, you only have an hour to pack. What is your must-take item?
- Comfortable shoes. I’m going to be doing lots of walking! (Rose)
- Playing cards. Gotta shake someone down with a game of gin. (Sophia)
- Something….comfortable to slip into. (Blanche)
- A tourism book. I need to know where I’m going! (Dorothy)
- It’s time for your nightly cheesecake. Which flavor are you reaching for?
- Vanskapkaka, of course! (Rose)
- Italians make the best cheesecake, don’t you know? (Sophia)
- Chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake. Variety is the spice of life! (Blanche)
- Classic cheesecake. You can’t beat the original! (Dorothy)
- How have you aged?
- Oh, it’s fun growing older. Especially with my friends! (Rose)
- Meh, age is just a number. Better to get old here than at Shady Pines! (Sophia)
- Like a fine wine, honey! I get better every year. (Blanche)
- My back hurts, my feet hurt. I’m aging just fine. (Dorothy)
- What’s the secret to a long, happy life?
- Focus on the positive and you’ll always be happy. (Rose)
- Having the Sicilian mob on my side. (Sophia)
- Lots of adventures and lovers… I mean, friends! (Blanche)
- Remembering the important things and learning new things. (Dorothy)
- Someone has gossip to share. How do you respond?
- Oh. Well, I try not to gossip. (Rose)
- You think that’s something? Picture it… (Sophia)
- Honey, tell me EVERYTHING. (Blanche)
- Get to the point already. (Dorothy)
- What word best describes you?
- Genuine (Rose)
- Honest (Sophia)
- Adventurous (Blanche)
- Blunt (Dorothy)
- How are you active in the community?
- Volunteering as a grief counselor. (Rose)
- Casting a “curse” on the neighbors. (Sophia)
- Acting in the local theater. (Blanche)
- Substitute teaching. (Dorothy)
- Finally, it’s your birthday party, and you invited everyone you know. What do you hope to get as a gift?
- Theme park tickets. (Rose)
- Poker chips. (Sophia)
- New clothes. (Blanche)
- A classic novel. (Dorothy)
You picked Rose
You love the simple things in life. People like being around you for your upbeat, sweet, caring, and sometimes oblivious nature. You don’t take yourself too seriously and can easily laugh at your mistakes. You’re known as a friend to all and trying to see the best in everyone.
You picked Blanche
You are feisty and passionate, and you enjoy the finer things in life. You’re always ready for the next adventure, and you love having a good time. People know you are the life of the party, and many are envious of your fabulous wardrobe. If someone doesn’t like you, you couldn’t care less — your life isn’t for them.
You picked Dorthy
You are straightforward, realistic, witty, and sarcastic. People may think you are a tough nut to crack, but once they get to know you, they know you are as loyal as they come. You are smart and love learning new things while also sharing your knowledge with others. Friends love your direct, honest advice.
You picked Sophia
You are witty, funny, and down-to-earth. People can always count on you to be a partner in crime or to tell a good story. You’re nostalgic but love new experiences, and you value family above everything. You are a traditionalist and tend to be the parental figure in your group of friends.