‘Golden Girls’: Here’s What the Cast Did After the Show Ended

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Steve Fontanini/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

You didn’t have to be a fan of the classic TV sitcom series The Golden Girls during its original run to know the impact the show has had on the sitcom industry. Truly standing against the test of time, The Golden Girls have become a beloved cultural icon across the generations.

The hit series ran from 1985 until 1982 and follows the lives of four older women in their “golden” years, as they share a Florida home. Whether they are watching the hit series for the first time, or the hundredth time, fans of the hit series readily fall in love with Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White), and Sophia (Estelle Getty).

But what did the stars do once the series came to an end? Well, the hardcore Golden Girls fans know that three of the show’s stars, McClanahan, White, and Getty moved on to a spin-off TV series titled The Golden Palace. But, what did they do once the popular NBC series was over?

Bea Arthur Continues Her Acting Career After Golden Girls Comes to An End

Bea Arthur’s Dorothy Zbornak is often referred to as the show’s lead. However, it was really the group that pulled off the magic that is The Golden Girls.

After The Golden Girls finished their last cheesecake, Bea Arthur continued her prolific acting career.

The actress appeared in a variety of popular shows including Malcolm In the Middle and Curb Your Enthusiasm. One of Arthur’s biggest legacies, however, came in her focus on community. Not long before her 2009 death, the actress helped a New York City youth LGBTQ organization by raising $40,000 in one single night during a benefit performance. Then, upon her death, Arthur left $300,000 to the same organization.

Betty White Leaves Behind A Fabulous Legacy Before, During, and After the Show

When Golden Girls ended in 1992, Betty White was one of the show’s cast members to move on to the spin-off series, The Golden Palace. However, this series didn’t receive the same kind of love as the OG show. The Golden Palace was canceled after just one season.

From there, White went on to land many other memorable roles working well into her 90s. White guest-starred on That 70s Show, and Boston Legal. She even landed a starring role in the TV Land series, Hot In Cleveland. Of course, we all know the beloved actress is also well-known for her endless love of animals. White passed away just days short of her 100th birthday on December 31, 2021.

Rue McClanahan Stays In the Business While Battling Health Issues

After The Golden Girls came to an end, Rue McClanahan joined some of her costars in the spin-off series The Golden Palace. Even after the series was canceled, McClanahan continued to act throughout the years. She is also well known for her animal rights activism.

In 1997, the former Golden Girls star was diagnosed with breast cancer. However, she was able to overcome the illness. In 2009, McClanahan suffered a stroke; and then in 2010, the 76-year-old actress suffered another one leading to her death.

Estelle Getty Heads to the Silver Screen

While her character, Sophia Petrillo was the oldest Golden Girl, the actress was younger than some of her costars. After the OG series came to an end, Estelle Getty reprised her role as Sophia; joining McClanahan and White in The Golden Palace.

Getty also reprised her role in other Golden Girls spin-off shows including Empty Nest and Nurses. The former Golden Girl also went on to star opposite Sylvester Stallone in the hilarious cop comedy film Stop or My Mom Will Shoot! Getty passed away in 2008 just a few days shy of her 85th birthday.