The Golden Bachelor made its debut on Thursday, Sept. 28. The new series in the Bachelor franchise is centered on a 71 year old retired restaurateur by the name of Gerry Turner. For the next several weeks we’ll be locked into his journey as a man finding love again after the loss of his beloved wife, Toni, in 2017. We’ll also be privy to the bonds he forges with the women who are hoping to spark a connection with Gerry that could lead to a full and fulfilling life as partners.
In the premiere, each of the 22 women participating in the reality dating series introduced themselves to Gerry with unique entrances. The first impressions ran the gamut of playful jokes, sultry teases, fun displays of personality, and more. Viewers were also given a look into the reasons why the contestants chose to put themselves through a dating show that’ll test their resolve and impact their emotions heavily.
For some of the ladies it was about putting themselves out their and opening their heart to love once more despite divorce or being widowed. There was, however, a contestant who explained early on that she was on The Golden Bachelor because of her best friend of 60 years. That woman was Ellen Glotzer, the retired teacher with an affinity for pickleball who made her entrance in a beautiful powder blue off the shoulder dress with ruffled details.
She’d exited the limo yelling the name, “Roberta,” and cheering the fact that she’d made it to her first night on the show. When asked by Gerry who Roberta is, Ellen launched into a heartwarming and also heart-aching story that was put into further context by the end of The Golden Bachelor premiere when a dedication to Roberta Zaktzer was included in the credits.
Roberta Zaktzer dedication on The Golden Bachelor
The Golden Bachelor season 1 is dedicated to Roberta Zaktzer, Ellen’s best friend of six decades. Distractify reports Roberta passed on Sept. 10, 2023 from cancer at 71. In the premiere, Ellen explained that she was on the series because of her best friend. It was Roberta who convinced her to sign-up for the dating show as they’re both fans of the program.
Throughout the premiere, Ellen spoke of her best friend and made a nod to Gerry’s attractiveness as if Roberta were right there with her and joining in on Ellen’s fun. The romantic hopeful did receive a rose on Night 1 of The Golden Bachelor, and we’re likely to hear more about her lifelong friendship with Roberta and the joy the two found in watching this beloved franchise together over the years.
Days before Roberta’s passing, Ellen left the following heartfelt message about her friend on Instagram which featured a picture of them both:
"Hi. I want to tell you about my best friend Roberta for 60 years. Good times and bad, happy and sad, it’s a friendship that will last a lifetime. We watched the bachelor together from the very beginning. She convinced me to apply for the Golden Bachelor and here I am because of her. She’s going through some difficult times now and I want her to know that true friendship is precious. Thank you Roberta. I’m here because you believed in me and and I believe in you too. Love you bestie!❤️"
Roberta was born in 1952. She was a graduate of Queens College, earning her degree in Urban Studies and Affairs with the distinction of Cum Laude. Prior to her passing, she worked as an Executive General Adjuster at AIG. She and Ellen had been best friends since they were young girls, having met each other in the ’60s and sparking up a friendship that stood the test of time and the change that come with growing up.