From the outrageous number of creeps and unsavory supporting characters in “The Golden Girls,” one fan narrowed the field down to five contenders in a Reddit poll asking, “Who’s the worst ‘bad guy’ on the show?” The first Place went to Jeremy (Joe Regalbuto), the fiancé of Blanche’s daughter Rebecca (Shawn Schepps). Although he only appears once in the Season 3 episode “Blanche’s Little Girl,” the character makes a pretty good impression as Jeremy spends the entire episode cruelly berating Rebecca and making fat-phobic comments just for Dorothy to get a taste of to get his own medicine. As u/Dionysus232 put it: “Jeremy was just awful…”
The other Golden Girls contenders for top villain are just as monstrous. Barbara Thorndyke (Bonnie Bartlett), a haughty anti-Semite, took second place in the poll, and Blanche’s abusive boyfriend, Rex Huntington (Mitchell Ryan), took third place. “God they’re all awful,” wrote u/jasmine7098. “Rex was physically and verbally abusive, Jeremy was verbally abusive and Barb was anti-Semitic. I really can’t decide between these 3.”
Quirky Freida Claxton (Nan Martin) and Rose’s selfish daughter Kirsten (Christine Belford and Lee Garlington) also garnered some votes. Other users pointed out villains who didn’t make it. “Daisy the Sociopathic Girl Scout!” wrote u/homasecksyul. “Don’t forget Nancy, the hotel receptionist who extorted money from the girls,” added u/MrMattyMatt.
While the high incidence of villainous characters may seem like a lot for a sitcom, their presence only serves to strengthen the friendships of the four main women, who often come to each other’s aid. At a panel at PaleyFest LA in 2006, series creator Susan Harris spoke about this friendship. “[‘The Golden Girls’] represents a family, and I think we find our families very often outside of our family,” she said. “And it’s very comforting to have that.”