‘The Golden Girls’: Who Was the Oldest Golden Girl During the Filming of the Hit Series

by Clayton Edwards

Golden Girls is one of the most beloved sitcoms in TV history. The characters were all unique. So, their personalities clashed and meshed in turn. Their chemistry on-screen and the clever writing on the show helped to make it a hit. It didn’t hurt that the cast was made up of brilliant and experienced actresses. One thing that really set the show apart from everything else on TV was the age of its main characters. At the time, seeing a show focused on older women was all but unheard of. So, the fact that the sitcom was doing that made it feel fresh. It was looking at life through a whole new lens and people took notice.

Golden Girls was aimed at an older female audience. However, the show pulled audiences of all ages. Children and young adults even loved the show. Viewers couldn’t get enough of the Girls. However, one question came up often during the series’ original run and maybe even more so now. Who was the oldest member of the cast?

Who Was the Oldest Golden Girl?

You could be forgiven for thinking that it was Estelle Getty. She played Sophia or Ma. However, she wasn’t the oldest. She just spent several hours getting her hair and makeup done for Golden Girls. The other cast member that fans usually guess was the oldest is Bea Arthur, who played Dorothy. That’s wrong but also understandable. Bea Arthur had a refined quality about her. She felt like the elder stateswoman.

Betty White was actually the oldest Golden Girl. She is also the only living core cast member from the series. However, she wasn’t much older than Bea Arthur. In fact, the two were less than four months apart in age. White’s birthday is January 17th and Arthur’s was May 13th.

Rue McClanahan was the youngest of the Golden Girls, according to Parade. She was 52 when the series began. Her character, Blanche, was just one year older. So, Rue was both the youngest actress and the closest in age to her character.

Estelle Getty was only 62 when she took on the role of the 79-year-old Sophia. She was the second youngest Golden Girl and furthest in age from her on-screen counterpart.

Both Bea Arthur and Betty White played younger characters on Golden Girls. The actresses were both 63 years old. Dorothy was in her early fifties when the show began. Rose was only 55.

In short, with some solid makeup work and great acting, The Golden Girls had us all fooled.