‘Golden Girls’: Director Quentin Tarantino Played an Elvis Impersonator on the Iconic Series Before He Was Famous

by Madison Miller

When most people think of Quentin Tarantino, they likely picture a lot of violence and gore. The famous director is known for depicting some of the most gruesome and bloody scenes in film history.

His work includes “Pulp Fiction,” “Inglorious Basterds,” “Kill Bill,” and “Django Unchained” amongst many others. Tarantino has one of the most recognizable cinematic styles ever.

However, some people may not recognize the fact that he once played a very small role in “Golden Girls” before leaving a permanent trace on the directing world. The funny sitcom with sweet older ladies doesn’t necessarily match the typical gore of Tarantino.

Quentin Tarantino in ‘Golden Girls’

Tarantino really found his place in directing and his acting career never went very far. However, he did play an Elvis impersonator in the classic sitcom, “Golden Girls.”

He appeared in “Sophia’s Wedding: Part 1” and “Sophia’s Wedding: Part 2” in 1988. During these two episodes in season four, Sophia marries Max Weinstock. At the wedding are a number of different Elvis impersonators.

Rose had accidentally sent invites to 10 Elvis impersonators. At one point, they all come together to sing, “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.”

Barely recognizable is Quentin Tarantino dolled up with pompadour and an overall very ’80s Elvis Presley look. While it certainly isn’t his biggest success, his time on the show did financially help him out later on.

“It became a two-part Golden Girls, so I got paid residuals for both parts. And it was so popular they put it on a best of The Golden Girls and I got residuals every time that showed. So I got paid maybe, I don’t know, $650 for that episode, but by the time the residuals were over three years later, I made like $3,000 … That kept me going during our preproduction time, trying to get Reservoir Dogs going,” Quentin Tarantino said, according to an interview on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

He wasn’t the only interesting guest on the show. George Clooney, Burt Reynolds, Mario Lopez, Alex Trebek, Bob Hope, and Debbie Reynolds are just a few celebrities that appeared on the show at some point. Trebek played himself in an episode where Dorothy dreams she’s a contestant on “Jeopardy!”

Tarantino and ‘Reservoir Dogs’

While he didn’t make a lot for the two-episode appearance, it was enough to get “Reservoir Dogs” completed. For reference, according to Collider, Betty White makes about $3 million a year just from “Golden Girls” reruns being on air.

“Reservoir Dogs” is an important cinematic release. The 1992 crime film was the feature-length debut for Tarantino. The success of this movie ultimately helped launch Tarantino’s popularity as a director in Hollywood.

The film is about diamond thieves who try to rob a jewelry store, but everything goes wrong. Similar to his films after, it introduced audiences to his stylistic choices of extreme violence, profanity, and nonlinear storytelling.

Quentin Tarantino levels up from his role as an Elvis impersonator for this film. He instead plays Mr. Brown, one of the eight criminals.

According to Empire, it is the “Greatest Independent Film of all Time.” It was not quite as successful as his next film, which was “Pulp Fiction.” This has become a cult classic film still widely popular today. However, without “Golden Girls,” none of it would have been possible.