The Golden Bachelor Cast: Gerry’s Contestants Include 2 Celebrity Family Members

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It’s never too late to fall in love again, and no one knows that better than The Golden Bachelor cast and the women looking for love with Bachelor Nation’s oldest and wisest lead.

The Golden Bachelor is a spin-off of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette featuring single men and women aged 65 and older. “Some of the casting interviews we got, they were just so touching,” ABC unscripted executive Rob Mill told Variety in 2020 about why the network wanted to create The Golden Bachelor. “It’s such a different way of doing The Bachelor because these people are just at a totally different place in their lives. There is an interesting thing about people who have hit the other end of the spectrum, who’ve lived their lives, they’ve raised their kids, some have been widowed or divorced and maybe some have never been in love. We thought that would be an interesting dynamic through the Bachelor prism.”

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Gerry Turner, a 71-year-old restaurant owner from Indiana, was announced as the Season 1 Golden Bachelor on Good Morning America in July 2023. “It’s never too late to fall in love again,” he said. Gerry is a father, grandfather, and widower. He married his wife and high school sweetheart, Toni, in 1974. They share two daughters, Angie and Jenny, and two granddaughters, Charlee and Payton. Gerry and Toni were married for 43 years until her death from an illness in 2017, six weeks after her retirement. “She got robbed,” Gerry told Good Morning America about Toni. “Every day that goes by, that’s the thought I have.”

When asked what Toni would think of him starring on The Golden Bachelor, Gerry told Good Morning America that he believed his late wife would be “rooting” for him. “I have her picture on a dresser in my closet,” he said. “Every morning I give her the nod, ‘So what do you think about this?’ For a while it was like I was having a hard time figuring out if she would be OK. But we always told each other, when one of us goes, we want the other one to be happy.” He continued, “She’s saying, ‘Yeah Gerry, do this.’”

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In an interview with Glamour in September 2023, Gerry revealed that his first love from even before he married Toni contacted him after news he was the Golden Bachelor. “There has been one, yes. And actually someone that I had that early first love with, even before Toni. I have heard from one. It was more of a well-wisher than anything else, but it was kind of interesting that after all these years we hadn’t had much contact,” he said.

But back to The Golden Bachelor cast. Meet The Golden Bachelor Season 1 contestants vying for Gerry’s heart ahead.

Who’s in The Golden Bachelor cast?

Read on for a full list of contestant in The Golden Bachelor cast—including Season 25 Bachelor Matt James’ mom, Patty James, and Jimmy Kimmel’s aunt, Aunt Chippy.

Anna Zalk

Age: 61

Hometown: Summit, New Jersey

Job: Retired Nutritionist

April Kirkwood

Age: 65

Hometown: Port St. Lucie, Florida

Job: Therapist

Christina Kempton

Age: 73

Hometown: Sierra Madre, California

Job: Retired Purchasing Manager

Edith Aguirre

Age: 60

Hometown: Downey, California

Job: Retired Realtor

Ellen Goltzer

Age: 71

Hometown: Delray Beach, Florida

Job: Retired Teacher

Faith Martin

Age: 61

Hometown: Benton City, Washington

Job: High School Teacher

Jeanie Howard

Age: 65

Hometown: Estill Springs, Tennessee

Job: Retired Project Manager

Joan Vassos

Age: 60

Hometown: Rockville, Maryland

Job: Private School Administrator

Kathy Swarts

Age: 70

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Job: Retired Educational Consultant

Leslie Fhima

Age: 64

Hometown: Golden Valley, Minnesota

Job: Fitness Instructor

Maria Trice

Age: 60

Hometown: Teaneck, New Jersey

Job: Health & Wellness Director

Marina Perera

Age: 60

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Job: Educator

Nancy Hulkower

Age: 60

Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia

Job: Retired Interior Designer

Natascha Hardee

Age: 60

Hometown: New York City, New York

Job: Pro-Aging Coach & Midlife Speaker

Pamela Burns

Age: 75

Hometown: Aurora, Illinois

Job: Retired Salon Owner

Patty James

Age: 70

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Job: Retired Real Estate Professional

Peggy Dercole

Age: 69

Hometown: East Haven, Connecticut

Job: Dental Hygenist

Renee Halverson-Wright

Age: 67

Hometown: Middleton, Wisconsin

Job: Author

Sandra Mason

Age: 75

Hometown: Doraville, Georgia

Job: Retired Executive Assistant

Susan Noles

Age: 66

Hometown: Aston, Pennsylvania

Job: Wedding Officiant

Sylvia Robledo

Age: 64

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Job: Public Affairs Consultant

Theresa Nist

Age: 70

Hometown: Shrewsbury, New Jersey

Job: Financial Services Professional

The Golden Bachelor airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Here’s how to watch it for free.

"Bachelor Nation" by Amy Kaufman
Photo: Courtesy of Penguin Books.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman


Buy Now

To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.

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