How Did ‘The Golden Girls’ End: Where Did the Main Characters Wind Up?

The Golden Girls was on the air for seven successful seasons from 1985 to 1992. The sitcom boasted quite the talented ensemble and a motley crew of characters who worked seamlessly together. Bea Arthur played Dorothy: the queen of deadpan delivery. Betty White portrayed the ditsy Rose Nylund who was full of wacky St. Olaf Tales. Rue McClanahan played Blanche Deveroux — the promiscuous woman who enjoyed the company of various male suitors. And, of course, there was Estelle Getty as the sarcastic and quippy Sophia Petrillo, who was also full of wise advice. Yet, when all was said and done, how did The Golden Girls End?

The Golden Girls cast pose for photo. in 1988
‘THE GOLDEN GIRLS’ (l-r) Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Betty White as Rose Nylund | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

The show ended in 1992, and reports indicate that Bea Arthur was largely behind the decision, as she felt the show had reached the pinnacle of its potential, and it was time to close the door. Yet, where did each character wind up after seven years of boyfriends, lost jobs, arguments, familial drama, and more? 

What happened in the series finale of ‘The Golden Girls?’

The hour-long series finale of The Golden Girls aired on May 9 in 1992. In the episode, Dorothy meets and marries Blanche’s uncle Lucas, played by Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!, The Naked Gun franchise, Police Squad!, and more). She then moves to Hollingsworth Manor in Atlanta with her new husband. 

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Initially, Sophia opts to join her daughter Dorothy in Atlanta. However, she chooses to stay back with the other women in Miami, which works to set up the spinoff series — The Golden Palace — that followed suit. In the same episode, Blanche decides to sell the house that the women have shared for so many years. 

What was ‘The Golden Palace’ about? 

The Golden Palace followed the three remaining women – yet Dorothy did step in for a surprise visit during the show’s brief one-year run. The Golden Palace aired from 1992 to 1993, premiering almost immediately after The Golden Girls ended. 

In the spinoff series, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia decide to buy a hotel, but they end up having to run the day-to-day operations when they discover it is severely understaffed.

Cheech Martin and Don Cheadle also star in the sitcom, and the show marked one of Cheadle’s earliest primary characters. While the show didn’t receive the worst critical reception, it didn’t have the secret formula that made the original work so well and the viewership numbers were not sustainable; thus, the show went off the air after the first season.