‘The Golden Girls’ Helped Quentin Tarantino Make ‘Reservoir Dogs’

The Golden Girls is still considered one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. The unlikely hit focused on the lives of four older women as they navigated life and love in Miami. The series was the first of its kind, but did you know several huge stars had guest spots in the series? Famed director, Quentin Tarantino, had a guest spot in the series long before he became famous. Tarantino revealed that the small guest role actually helped him make his 1992 hit, Reservoir Dogs. 

The residuals from the show helped Quentin Tarantino make Reservoir Dogs

During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Tarantino revealed that The Golden Girls made it possible for him to create his breakout hit. He told Jimmy Fallon that the episode he appeared in became so successful that he kept receiving residuals. The episode became part of the show’s “best of” and was rerun regularly on television. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he made about $600 for his initial time. Three years later, he had earned about $3,000 in residuals. Tarantino said that the residuals helped to bankroll his lifestyle while shopping Reservoir Dogs and during the movie’s pre-production. 

Quentin Tarantino landed a role in The Golden Girls simply because of his looks 

Reservoir Dogs may have gotten off the ground because of The Golden Girls. Tarantino didn’t land the role because of his acting prowess, though. Reportedly, Tarantino was cast in the role of an Elvis impersonator simply because he looked the part. In the 1980s, Tarantino was, reportedly, heavily into the Rockabilly look. He wore a pompadour and had a decidedly Elvis Presley vibe. 

the cast of 'The Golden Girls' in a promotional photo
The cast of ‘The Golden Girls’ | Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank

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The episode, “Sophia’s Wedding: Part 1”, aired in 1988. While Tarantino insists he was the “real” Elvis impersonator, he wasn’t the only one featured in the episode. The episode used 10 different actors as Elvis impersonators during its 30-minute run time. Blake Gibbons, who appeared regularly on General Hospital in the early 2000s, also appeared in the episode as an impersonator. 

Tarantino initially tried to become an actor 

The Golden Girls was the most successful guest spot that Tarantino landed. He admitted his acting career was decidedly unsuccessful. The Golden Girls was the only mainstream role he managed to land before moving into the writing and directing track. Before The Golden Girls, he appeared in one short film and one abandoned film. 

Quentin Tarantino in a promotional photo in the 1990s
Quentin Tarantino | Rick Eglinton/Toronto Star via Getty Images

According to IMDbMy Best Friend’s Birthday, the one film Tarantino starred in before landing The Golden Girls gig, was abandoned shortly before the cast completed it. The 1987 film was roughly 90% complete when the team packed up.