‘The Golden Girls’: Betty White Discussed How the Show Depicts Aging in 1991 Interview

by Katie Maloney
Photo by: Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank

Betty White shared her thoughts on how The Golden Girls transformed the way the world viewed people “past a given age.”

Certainly, The Golden Girls were just that – a group of vivacious, hilarious, adventurous women. Every episode featured the girls embracing life in different ways. Sometimes their adventures included ending up in jail after a night of looking for Burt Reynolds. Other nights, their adventure was just a simple laugh with friends around a kitchen table with a big slice of cheesecake. Regardless of what they were doing, The Golden Girls did it all with style. During an interview in 1991, Betty White who played Rose on the show talked about how the show changed people’s perceptions of aging.

“Oh, I think it’s great. You don’t fall off the planet once you pass a given age,” said White. “You don’t lose any of your sense of humor or your zest for life. If you were a dull young person, you’re going to be a dull old person. But I don’t think, just because the years go by, that you have to be that way.”

Estelle Getty, who played Sophia on The Golden Girls agreed. She added that Hollywood executives made a good decision in producing a show that appealed to and featured older people.

“Some of the smart boys from Madison Avenue got onto the idea that there are a lot of older people in this country, more so than younger people,” said Getty. “And they have possession and command of a great deal of money. And they go on trips and they buy rugs and they buy beer and they buy everything that younger people buy. Someone tapped into that and said, ‘Let’s see older people.'”

Betty White talks about how The Golden Girls changed the world.

Rue McClanahan Said She Knew She Had ‘Gold’ in Her Hands After Reading The Golden Girls Script

Undoubtedly, Rue McClanahan brought life to her character, Blanche Elizabeth Devereaux. Viewers could always depend on the man-hungry southern belle to show up with beautiful outfits and a blissful disregard for the petty things other people worry about. During the same interview, Rue McClanahan shared what she thought the moment she first read The Golden Girls’ script.

“The moment the script arrived at my house to look at, and when I just saw the title page, it was the way the script looked, I thought, ”This is a wonderful piece. This is a piece of gold in my hands,” said McClanahan.

And she was right. After its debut in 1985, The Golden Girls received 68 Emmy Award nominations (11 wins), and 21 Golden Globe Awards (4 wins). Additionally, they won five American Comedy Awards. Undoubtedly, the show was pure sitcom gold.