‘Florida wants to retire and move to him’: Meet ABC’s first ‘Golden Bachelor’

Gerry Turner smiles in a gray suit and holds a golden rose against a gold background.
Gerry Turner, 71, stars in ABC’s “The Golden Bachelor.”
(Brian Bowen Smith / ABC)

The “Bachelor” franchise is entering a new age.

On Monday, ABC introduced the star of “The Golden Bachelor,” a spinoff that skews older than the flagship series about young singles in search of love. Gerry Turner, a 71-year-old grandfather from Indiana, has been named the franchise’s newest — and oldest — leading man.

“Don’t give up,” Turner said in an interview with “Good Morning America.” “There’s always possibilities.”

As Mike Fleiss departs and the show’s own Black stars publicly demand ‘accountability,’ behind-the-scenes changes point to a franchise at the crossroads.

April 4, 2023

In a tongue-in-cheek promo for the first season of “The Golden Bachelor,” Turner buttons up his gray suit, tucks a purple handkerchief into his lapel, leans on a vintage car and presents a red rose.


“He posts his thirst traps in a leather-bound album,” the narrator says.

“His DMs have postage. He gets the early-bird special anytime he wants. If you call him, he’ll answer the phone. He doesn’t have gray hair. He has wisdom highlights. Florida wants to retire and move to him. He’s Gerry.”

After pledging ‘real change’ amid last year’s protests, ABC and owner Walt Disney Co. stayed silent as a firestorm over race consumed its reality-TV flagship.

March 12, 2021

On the first season of “The Golden Bachelor,” Turner is hoping to find love again after his wife of 43 years, Toni, became sick and died in 2017. The high-school sweethearts, who wed in 1974, shared two daughters and two granddaughters. Turner told “Good Morning America” that his children encouraged him to apply for “The Golden Bachelor.”

“I have a picture [of Toni] on a dresser in my closet,” Turner said on “GMA.”

“Every morning, give her the nod [and ask], ‘So what do you think about this?’ For a while ... 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. She’s up there rooting. She’s saying, ‘Yeah, Gerry. Do this.’”

For the first time, a franchise rocked by charges of racism will have a Black lead, co-host and executive producer. And it could be a game changer.

Oct. 19, 2021

In addition to spending time with his family, Turner enjoys hosting barbecues, playing pickleball and rooting for his favorite Chicago sports teams, according to a press release for “The Golden Bachelor.”

The press release adds that the series’ contestants also have “a lifetime of experience, living through love, loss and laughter, hoping for a spark that ignites a future full of endless possibilities.”

“The Golden Bachelor” premieres this fall on ABC.