The Golden Girls is a classic television show for several reasons. For one, it truly broke new ground. At the time, most sitcoms focused on either families or young people. However, this show focused on a group of older women. It may have looked at many of the same scenarios as other shows. But it did so through a completely different lens.
The studio thought that the show would be a hit with older women. It was. However, it turned out to be more than just a niche hit. People of all ages loved the show. Today, The Golden Girls and its stars are adored by fans of all ages. The show is in syndication in over one hundred countries. So, new viewers are discovering the show and old fans are falling in love all over again all the time.
The makeup design on The Golden Girls made some stars look older. On the other hand, some looked younger than their actual age. This has left many people wondering about the ages of the actresses during the filming of the hit show. More specifically, many fans want to know who was the youngest member of the iconic cast.
The Youngest Golden Girl
Rue McClanahan was the youngest member of the cast. She was only fifty-one years old when The Golden Girls started. Her character, the man-chasing Southern belle, Blanche Devereaux was only 53. So, not only was Rue the youngest actress on the show but she also played the youngest character.
On the other hand, Betty White was the oldest member of the iconic cast of The Golden Girls. She was 63 years old when the show started. So was Bea Arthur. However, White was older by a few months. Betty White’s character, Rose, was only a couple of years older than Blanche in the show. At the same time Dorothy, played by Arthur, was fifty-five. So, they both played younger characters while Rue McClanahan played above her age for the show.
Estelle Getty, on the other hand, was actually the second youngest cast member on The Golden Girls. She was sixty-two. A year younger than Betty White and Bea Arthur. However, she played Sophia, who was seventy-nine when the show started. The show’s makeup department worked for hours to make her look older. She was furthest in age from her character on the show.
Today, Betty White is the only surviving member of the cast of The Golden Girls. She just turned ninety-nine back in January. Estelle Getty died in July of 2008, just three days before her eighty-fifth birthday. She had been battling dementia since her days on the classic sitcom. Bea Arthur passed away in April of 2009 of lung cancer. Rue McClanahan passed away in June of 2010 from a massive stroke.