Who are they?

There might still be a long ways to go, but there are many Golden Women that have paved the way for their fellow minority actors and actresses. Here are just a few pioneering women whose names are inscribed in the history of exceptional television, and links to stories that will provide a detailed account of the barriers they’ve broken.

  • The Golden Girls 1985

  • Roseanne 1988
  • Grace and Frankie 2015

The Golden Girls

You can’t mention a Golden Woman without also bringing up the names of the four most Golden of Girls: Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Rose (Betty White), Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and Sophia (Estelle Getty) are the four central characters of the most well-known show to star only older women. The show racked up 11 Emmy awards during its seven-year run and covered topics ranging from gay rights, feminism, race, disability, class and ageism. “I like this program because it gives me hope that there’s life after 50!” said a survey respondent in Media & Values magazine


“Roseanne” broke barriers in television history by portraying the realities of the blue-collar American family. Often referred to as a “working-class Goddess,” Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) is the show’s titular character, and also a middle-aged mom of three. From 1988-1997, Roseanne provided a realistic reflection of a woman dealing with issues involving money, raising children, maintaining a romantic relationship with her husband and aging, among other things.

Grace and Frankie

2015’s “Grace and Frankie” only has one season on Netflix, but (thankfully) there are more to come. Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) have always been rivals, but become friends when their husbands fall in love with each other—maybe proving that female friendship can be stronger than romantic relationships? Fonda and Tomlin are both in their 70s and continuously explore their sexualities as older women and even date men that are decades younger than them, flipping the stereotype of older men with younger women on its head.

See for yourself

Here are just a few clips that demonstrate how the shows listed above, in addition to several others, present varying social issues to viewers.