The Golden Girls was a breath of fresh air when it was released because it was unlike the many shows that were airing during its era. For starters, the show starred older cast members – a demographic that is rarely ever represented on television. It was also one of the first shows that heavily featured women in the main roles. The amazing women who were The Golden Girls’ cast have had fantastic careers decorated with awards and honors including a couple of Emmys.
The Golden Girls’ Cast Whereabouts
In 1992, the final episode of the series aired after a seven-year run which began in 1985. A lot has happened to the four beloved lead characters of the show since then, so let’s talk about what the amazing women have been up to and what they are doing now.
What Has Betty White (Rose Nylund) Been Doing?
Hardly anyone can argue about Betty White’s status as one of the most revered and adored comedic celebrities in the history of television. Her career after The Golden Girls continued to be a trailblazer. She has been featured in countless series and movies, which have kept her in a steady supply of work.
Amongst Betty’s many awards over the course of her distinguished professional journey is a Guinness Book of World Records for the female entertainer with the longest career on television.
Initially, she began her career in radio where she hosted her own show, The Betty White Show, which later became a television talk show. Her debut film appearance was in the 1962 film, Advise & Consent. She also appeared in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Password, and several shows, which eventually led to a career-defining role in The Golden Girls.
After the show ended, Betty White continued to star in a strange of sitcoms and movies such as Malcolm in the Middle, The Simpsons, Lake Placid, King of the Hill, and Family Guy. She starred in the courtroom drama series Boston Legal from 2005 to 2008, followed by the movie The Proposal.
In 2010, thanks to the pushing from many of her fans, she was given the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live. She earned another Emmy for her performance and the episode has been listed amongst the most-watched SNL episodes. Betty also went on to star in Hot in Cleaveland, The Lorax, Save Me, and she had a voice cameo in Toy Story 4.
When she’s not working, the former Golden Girls‘ cast member pursues her other interests including serving as a board member for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. At 97, Betty’s career is still going strong and flourishing.
Bea Arthur (Dorothy Zbornak) Whereabouts
After the show ended, there was a spinoff called The Golden Palace, which saw all the characters take the lead and reprise their roles except for Bea Arthur who only appeared in two episodes. She decided to focus the bulk of her creative talents on Broadway which was her first love. She appeared in several productions from the 1990s to the 2000s.
Bea kept on making guest appearances on television, granting interviews, and thrilling audiences at variety shows. Before The Golden Girls, Bea had already established herself as an icon in the world of television with her role as Maude on the hit 70s sitcom All in the Family, and its spinoff Maude. She went on to perform a couple of one-woman shows such as And Then There’s Bea, Bea Arthur on Broadway, and An Evening with Bea Arthur.
Her guest performance on the show Malcolm in the Middle earned her another Emmy nod. Asides from work, Bea has been using her voice to advocate for different kinds of causes including PETA, LGBTQ, and civil rights for marginalized communities.
On April 25, 2009, Bea Arthur’s audacious career came to an end as she passed away. However, her legacy has continued to impact the lives of countless people.
Where Is Estelle Getty (Sophia Petrillo) Now?
Another iconic Golden Girls‘ cast member was Estelle Getty. Even though Estelle was younger than Bea in real life, she flawlessly pulled off playing the latter’s mother in The Golden Girls. After the series came to an end she moved on to other projects such as Empty Nest, Match Made in Heaven, and Stuart Little.
Her final career performance was in an episode of the show Ladies’ Man. Estelle was an active supporter of gay rights. She frequently donated and raised funds that went into AIDS research throughout her life.
The beloved television star passed away in 2008 after a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia. She was 84 at the time.
What Happened to Rue McClanahan (Blanche Devereaux)?
No talk of the Golden Girls‘ cast would be complete without mentioning the iconic Rue McClanahan. Despite being an older woman, Rue’s character was a charming Southern belle who had suitors falling over themselves trying to win her attention. Blanche happily scandalized audiences for many years until the show wrapped up.
Rue has an extensive career that has spanned across television, stage, and film, and the gifted performer has won several awards in all three areas. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Rue’s career has achieved legendary status. She was so impossibly gifted and it showed in every role that she took on.
The Golden Girls star continued working well into the 2000s. She appeared in numerous plays, movies, and television shows including Blue’s Big Treasure Hunt, Wicked, and Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
After a series of health problems such as breast cancer and a stroke, Rue McClanahan suffered a sudden cerebral hemorrhage which ended her life in June 2010.
Who Are The Other Golden Girls Cast Members?
Only a few shows have managed to achieve the level of popularity that The Golden Girls has. Even more, than three decades after the show was released, it still holds a special place in the hearts of viewers and it keeps picking up new fans with every passing year. It’s almost impossible to not love the show and the wonderful cast who gave their best to make it happen.
Other Golden Girls’ cast members are Herb Edelman as Stanley Zbornak, Lisa Jane Persky and Deena Freeman as Kate Zbornak, Harold Gould as Miles Webber, Lynnie Greene as younger Dorothy, Scott Jacoby as Michael Zbornak, Sid Melton as Salvadore Petrillo, Shawn Schepps, and Debra Engle as Rebecca Devereaux, Doris Belack and Dena Dietrich as Gloria Petrillo, Sheree North and Monte Markham respectively as Virginia and Clayton Hollingsworth, Bill Dana as Angelo, and Nancy Walker as Angela.