‘Golden Girls’: Leslie Nielsen Guest-Starring to Help Dorothy Get Back at Blanche was Comedy Gold

by Suzanne Halliburton

This Golden Girls episode was bittersweet. Still, our final outing with our favorite ladies also was so very funny.

You can thank Leslie Nielsen and his dead-pan delivery for making One Flew out of the Cuckoo’s Nest such a memorable episode. It also happened to be the series finale of Golden Girls, with the episode running May 9, 1992.

How do you say goodbye to one of the best shows, ever, on television? You do it with an unexpected wedding, with the lone divorcee in the house (Dorothy) marrying a handsome, rich and age-appropriate man (Neilsen as Lucas Hollingsworth). And because it was the Golden Girls, there were at least a couple of twists.

Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank

Nielsen, Dorothy’s soon-to-be-husband, also happened to be Blanche’s uncle. And the relationship between Dorothy (Bea Arthur) and Lucas started as a blind date and continued as a way to pay back Blanche.

Nielsen was the perfect guest star for a comedy. Although he started as a very serious actor, he became a household name after starring in satire movies like Airplane and the Naked Gun franchise.

On the Golden Girls, Nielsen was Blanche’s uncle. And Blanche was desperate to find someone else to spend time with Uncle Lucas. It seems Blanche already had a date the night Lucas was supposed to be in town. So she told Dorothy that Lucas was dying to meet her. And Blanche flipped the script with Lucas. Dorothy and Lucas had their dinner date at Don’s Crab House and quickly figured out that Blanche lied to them both.

How do you get back at Blanche? Date, of course. Then add a wedding. The two pretended to have a relationship. They then realized it wasn’t all an act. They did love each other. The episode flashes forward two months to give Dorothy and Lucas time to plan a real wedding.

Golden Girls Figured Out a Way to Tell Everyone Farewell

On the day of the wedding, a limo arrives to pick up Dorothy and take her to the church. Stan, Dorothy’s ex husband, is the driver. The two talk and Stan tells her he’ll always love her. The limo ride was his wedding gift.

Sophia (Estelle Getty) walks Dorothy down the aisle. Golden Girls fans got to hear the secret thoughts of each of the women as the minister marries Dorothy and Lucas. Here’s a fun fact. The priest who marries the couple was in season six in a Golden Girls episode called Ebbtide’s Revenge. In the earlier episode, the priest officiated the funeral of Phil, Dorothy’s cross-dressing kid brother.

Arthur had decided to leave the Golden Girls before the start of season seven. So writers had time to create the perfect finale. As the episode ends, the women gather at their Miami home after the wedding. Dorothy packs and Sophia tells her that she’ll stay in Miami with Rose and Blanche. They need her more.

The women gather in the living room for one more goodbye and group hug. Rose (Betty White) tells them: “What can you say about seven years of fights and laughter, secrets, cheesecake.”

Dorothy leaves and returns two more times. The final time, Dorothy says “You’ll always be my sisters, always.”