Golden Girls, The

The term used to describe females over the age of 50 years. The sitcom THE GOLDEN GIRLS/NBC/1985-92 featured a group of mature, single “Golden Girls” sharing a house in Miami, Florida.


They included Betty White as Rose Nylund, Rue McClanahan as Blanch Devereaux, Beatrice Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak, Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo.

  • Rose Nylund (Betty White), is a 55 year-old Norwegian American from the small farming town of St. Olaf, Minnesota. When her husband Charlie died, she moved to Miami. She has five children. Rose is proud of her St. Olaf and whenever she has a chance, she loves to tell stories (mostly silly) about her Minnesota hometown. Rose worked at a grief counseling center, and as an assistant to a consumer reporter at a local TV station. Her romantic interest was college professor Miles Webber who was temporarily placed into the Witness Protection Program.
  • Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) is the man-hungry owner of the Miami home who was raised on a plantation outside of Atlanta, Georgia by her wealthy parents. Before taking in borders (Dorothy, Sophia and Rose), Blanche lived with her husband until his death. She has six grown children, four sons and two daughters. Blanche is always touting her perceived beauty and bragging about her sexual escapades to her roommates.
  • Dorothy Zbornak (Beatrice Arthur) is a substitute teacher who was born in Brooklyn, New York City. Her parents are Sicilian immigrants Sophia and Salvadore Petrillo. Dorothy divorced her husband Stanley Zbornak after 38 years when he left her for a young flight attendant. Dorothy children now grown were Michael and Kate. Eventually, Dorothy marries Lucas Hollingsworth  (Blanche’s Uncle), and relocates to Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) was born in Palermo, Sicily, Sophia moved to New York after fleeing an arranged marriage to Guido Spirelli. She later married Salvadore Petrillo, with whom she had three children: Dorothy, Gloria, and Phil, a cross-dresser, who later dies of a heart attack. She moved in with her daughter, Dorothy after a fire damaged the Shady Pines Retirement Home. She married then separted from a man named Max Weinstock.

Note: After Dorothy married and moved to Georgia, Blanche, Rose and Sophia became the owners of a small hotel in downtown Miami on the sitcom THE GOLDEN PALACE/CBS/1992-1993.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Personal Nicknames

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