‘Golden Girls’ Creator’s 1985 Quote Sums Up How Show Changed TV Forever

by Anna Dunn

A 1985 quote from the creator of Golden Girls shows exactly why the show changed TV. The Golden Girls followed the lives of four older women living out their lives in Miami. They navigate growing older, their relationships with their now-grown children, and dating.

But at the time, a show like this was unheard of. Women over the age of 30 didn’t have much of an on-screen presence.

That changed with The Golden Girls. It featured four main women. The eldest was a scathing yet secretly sweet woman named Sophia. She joined the group because of her sardonic and intelligent daughter, Dorothy. They live with Blanche, a hilarious and promiscuous southern belle, and Rose, an innocent widow from Minnesota.

”A woman’s worth is tied into what she looks like,” Golden Girls creator Susan Harris told The New York Times. ”At 82, Cary Grant could still be a romantic lead. But, on television, a woman over 50 is cast as an ax murderer.”

But the show challenged that, exploring the complex romantic lives of all four women. They each navigate relationships after divorce or losing their husbands. It avoided portraying the people on the show as “prudish” or dull. The show made it clear that your spirit, need for close relationships, and humor don’t simply go away with age and showed America a whole new, and more realistic perspective.

The best part was: It was a hit. The cast and crew behind The Golden Girls put their hearts and souls into the show, and its evident in the episodes. One actress even knew the show was a hit before it even began.

Blanche Actress Rue McClanahan Knew ‘The Golden Girls’ Would be A Hit Before it Premiered

As soon as Rue McClanahan got the script, she knew The Golden Girls would be a hit. The Blanche actress explained how she new in an interview featured on the Archive of American Television.

“I said this is going to be a hit. There was something about the script. The kind of writing that they chose.”

But even before she read the script, she said she “felt this was a winner.”

The Golden Girls is still lauded as a fantastic show, and it’s aged like fine wine, gaining fans who weren’t even born when the show ended. Tragically, three of the four actors who worked on the show have since passed away. Betty White is the sole surviving main cast member from The Golden Girls and is set to turn 100 in January.

But even though many who played The Golden Girls are gone, they live on not only in the show, but in the industry they helped change.