‘The Golden Girls’ Fans Have a Clear Pick for the ‘Worst Villain’ on the Show

by Suzanne Halliburton

The Golden Girls always had each others backs. When you travel down that road and back again, sometimes mean people get in the way.

And yes, there were occasional villains on an otherwise uplifting series about best friends of a certain age. Although the Golden Girls, a key series in the classic TV genre, went off the air three decades ago, fans still discuss it as if Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia still are alive and flirting in Miami.

A group of Golden Girls fans who post on Reddit conducted a poll as to who was the “worst villain” of the show. And the runaway winner was Jeremy, who appeared in the 1988 episode “Blanche’s Little Girl.” Jeremy dated Rebecca, Blanche’s one-time model daughter, who’d gained a lot of weight. The episode was chock full of fat shaming jokes.

Reddit is full of discussions about this Golden Girls episode. One fan wrote: “the jokes about her weight are rude and sound terrible in today’s climate. Am I the only one? I’m glad Blanche stood up for Rebecca and put Jeremy in his place. Ugh his attitude in this episode was abhorrent.”

Jim Regalbuto played Jeremy. And months later, he joined the cast of the new show Murphy Brown. He played investigative journalist Frank Fontana, Murphy’s best work friend. Fontana and Jeremy definitely were opposites.

After Frank Regalbuto appeared in the Golden Girls, he joined the cast of Murphy Brown. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

So who else ranked as a top Golden Girls villain? Barbara Thorndyke finished second in the poll. Barbara was well-read and highly educated. Dorothy met her at a lecture. The two became instant friends. But Barbara was mean and arrogant to Rose and Blanche. Barbara invited all the ladies and their dates to dinner at the Mortimer Club. But Barbara tells Dorothy that the club won’t serve Sophia’s date because he’s Jewish. Barbara doesn’t see the issue. So Dorothy tells her now former bff “Let me spell it out for you. Go to hell.”

Bonnie Bartlett, as Barbara Thorndyke, was mean to Rose, Blanche and Sophia. (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Handsome Rex Huntington also made the list, finishing third. He was one of Blanche’s boyfriends. And instead of worshipping Blanche, he mentally abused her. Dorothy took up for Blanche. And she told her friend that he wasn’t good enough for her. Dorothy confronted Rex, who grabbed her by the arm. Blanche then ordered Rex to leave their home.

Rose’s daughter Kirsten was another so-called villain who Golden Girls fans didn’t like. This was the Kirsten who was in the season one episode, “The Truth Will Out.” Kirsten, along with her daughter, Charlie, visited Rose in Miami. Kirsten thought that her father, Charlie, was a rich businessman who left Rose a lot of money when he died. So Kirsten blamed and shamed Rose for blowing all the money. Rose finally had to tell her daughter that her dad was a wonderful man who was bad with money.

Frieda Claxton finished fifth in the Golden Girls villain poll. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. Everyone hated the woman. Rose thought she killed her after Frieda suffered a fatal heart attack while in court. The ladies tried to give her a funeral, but no friend showed up.

Do you like the list?