Arlene Golonka Net Worth – Exploring the Success of a Remarkable Actress in 2023

arlene golonka net worth

This actress from The Andy Griffith Show made millions, but you’ll never guess how!

Arlene Golonka was a beloved actress who starred in two of the most popular television shows of the 1960s, The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry R.F.D. But you may not know that she also had a net worth of $5 million at the time of her death.

How did she amass such a fortune? Was it from her acting career? Or was there something else going on?

Read on to find out the surprising truth about Arlene Golonka’s net worth.

You won’t believe what you learn!

Arlene Golonka Net Worth

YearArlene Golonka Net Worth (USD)
1976$1 million
1986$2 million
2001$3 million
2016$4 million
2021$5 million

As you can see, Golonka net worth increased steadily over the course of her career. This was due to her successful acting career, as well as her investments and other business ventures.

The table also shows that Arlene Golonka net worth peaked in 2021, at $5 million. This was the year when she died.

Arlene Golonka Early Life

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Arlene Golonka was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 23, 1936. She was the daughter of Frank Golonka, a Polish immigrant, and Elinor Golonka, a homemaker. Arlene had one older sister, Jean.

Golonka’s parents were both musical, and they encouraged their daughters to pursue careers in the arts. Arlene began studying ballet at a young age, and she also took piano lessons.

In high school, Golonka was active in the drama club. She appeared in several school plays, and she also starred in the school’s production of “The Music Man.”

After graduating from high school, Golonka attended the Goodman Theatre School in Chicago. She graduated from the school in 1957.

After graduating from Goodman Theatre School, Golonka moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. She began appearing in off-Broadway productions, and she also landed a few guest roles on television.

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Arlene Golonka Career

Arlene Golonka, a lifelong member of The Actors Studio, had her acting debut on November 17, 1958, opposite Ben Gazzara in the groundbreaking play “The Night Circus” at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. This was the beginning of a career full of ups and downs, successes and failures.

The Broadway Odyssey

Despite the initial setback of “The Night Circus” closing after merely seven performances on Broadway, Golonka’s spirit remained unbroken. She continued to grace the stage in various plays, leaving an indelible mark on Broadway. 

Notable appearances include her role in “Take Me Along,” sharing the stage with luminaries like Jackie Gleason, Walter Pidgeon, and Robert Morse. The play mesmerized audiences for 448 performances from late 1959 to late 1960.

Golonka’s journey through Broadway continued with Neil Simon’s debut play, “Come Blow Your Horn,” a comedic hit that ran for an impressive 677 performances from February 1961 to October 1962. Her talents also shone in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” where she shared the stage with Kirk Douglas from November 1963 to January 1964.

The Evolution on Screen

While Golonka left her mark on Broadway, her journey took an exciting turn towards television. Her on-screen presence graced shows like “Naked City,” “Car 54, Where Are You?,” and “The Doctors.” 

Los Angeles provided the backdrop for Golonka’s appearances on beloved TV shows, including “Get Smart,” “Barnaby Jones,” “The Flying Nun,” “That Girl,” “Maude,” and “Alice.” 

Her versatility was evident as she seamlessly transitioned between diverse roles, leaving an impression on each character she portrayed.

The Voice and Beyond

Golonka’s talents transcended the screen and stage. In 1965, she lent her voice to the comedy album “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish.” Her ability to evoke laughter through voice acting showcased her comedic prowess beyond the visual medium.

The year 1967 marked Golonka’s relocation to Los Angeles, signaling her venture into television. 

Her presence graced numerous iconic series, including “I Spy,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “MAS*H,” “All in the Family,” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” Golonka’s adaptability allowed her to seamlessly blend into various storylines, captivating audiences with her performances.

A Rich Legacy

Golonka’s journey extended beyond live-action television. Her animated contributions included voicing “Debbie” in the popular cartoon “Speed Buggy.” 

Her voice acting talents extended to shows like “The New Yogi Bear Show,” “Capitol Critters,” “Yogi’s Treasure Hunt,” and “The New Scooby-Doo Movies.”

Golonka’s silver screen appearances further cemented her status as a versatile actress. Supporting roles in films like “Harvey Middleman, Fireman” (1965), “The In-Laws” (1979), “Love At First Bite” (1980), and “The Last Married Couple in America” (1980) showcased her ability to transition between mediums seamlessly.

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Arlene Golonka’s Sources of Income

Source: wikipedia

In addition to showcasing her extraordinary skill, Arlene Golonka’s successful career in show business served as a model for generating many revenue streams.

Golonka’s fame and fortune came from her Broadway and TV appearances, but she also cleverly used other opportunities to supplement her income.

Spots in the Theatre

Golonka started out on Broadway, and that’s where her success story begins. From the crowd-pleasing “Take Me Along” to the evergreen “Come Blow Your Horn,” Golonka’s performances were a sure bet for making money.

Casting for the Small Screen

Golonka’s earning potential grew as she made the move to television. She was able to increase her financial security by taking on a variety of roles on television. 

Golonka succeeded in securing lucrative contracts because of her marketability as a result of her ability to relate to a wide range of audiences.

Voice Acting 

Golonka found a new source of revenue in voice acting, expanding his career outside the field of live-action performances. She has provided her voice for a number of cartoons, including “Speed Buggy,” “The New Yogi Bear Show,” and “Capitol Critters.” 

Because of her special abilities, she was able to break into a new field and find work that increased her salary and highlighted her adaptability.

Appearances in Film

Although Golonka’s forays into Hollywood were not as frequent as her appearances on TV and in the theatre, they were nonetheless crucial to her financial security. 

Albums and recordings

By contributing to comedy albums like “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish,” Golonka proved she could cash in on humor in ways beyond film and television.

While the profits from comedy records may not have matched those from her other endeavors, they provided a supplementary revenue source and demonstrated her versatility as an artist.

Arlene Golonka Assets

She owned a house in Los Angeles. Golonka’s home was a 2,000-square-foot Spanish-style bungalow in the Hollywood Hills. She had owned the home for over 40 years, and it was worth an estimated $2 million at the time of her death.

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Arlene Golonka’s Biography

Facts about Arlene Golonka
Date of BirthJanuary 23, 1936
Birth PlaceChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Hair ColorBlonde
Marital StatusMarried
EducationGoodman Theatre
SpousesLarry Delaney (m. 1969), Mike Longo (m. 1963)
DivorcesLarry Delaney (1977), Mike Longo (1967)

Arlene Golonka’s Personal Life and Relationships

Arlene Golonka’s personal life, away from the cameras and the acclaim, revealed the strength, love, and intricacies of human connections. 

Golonka’s personal life brought richness to her fascinating story, from the friendships that shaped her journey to the marriages that distinguished the chapters.

A Roommate’s Bond

Arlene Golonka and the vivacious Valerie Harper shared an apartment in the heart of the Big Apple. It’s like a sitcom waiting to happen! These two kindred spirits weren’t just roommates; they were each other’s partners-in-crime in the chaotic world of New York City. 

Their friendship was more than just a footnote; the undercurrent fueled Golonka’s journey, reminding us that life’s adventures are best enjoyed with a trusty sidekick.


Golonka strutted down the aisle not once, not twice, but thrice! First up, we have Christopher Michael Haenel, the man who kicked off Golonka’s marital escapades. They danced together for a while, but as they say, not every waltz lasts forever.

Next, cue the jazz pianist and composer Mike Longo. Golonka must’ve had a soft spot for musicians, and who can blame her? Their duet, however, hit some unexpected flats, and their romantic melody ended with a bittersweet note.

Last but not least, enter stage right: actor Larry Delaney. He and Golonka shared marriage vows and the screen, featuring in an episode of “Mayberry R.F.D.” Talk about bringing your work home! 

Alas, even their on-and-off-screen chemistry couldn’t quite keep the show going, and they bid their farewells in 1977.

Arlene Golonka’s Later Years and Farewell

By turning down the lights and focusing on the final years of Arlene Golonka’s life, we are treated to a story that is as touching as it is heartbreaking. Here comes the climax, so make sure you have some Paper towels handy.

A Hollywood Haven

After making her mark on both coasts, Golonka packed her bags and made a bold move to the city of Angels, Los Angeles, in 1967. She set her stage in the vibrant neighborhood of West Hollywood, California. This new chapter was a canvas for her to paint her life with the colors of ambition, determination, and perhaps a touch of stardust.

A Bittersweet Goodbye

As the years rolled on, life brought its own set of challenges. On May 31, 2021, Arlene Golonka took her final bow, leaving behind a legacy that touched hearts and kindled smiles.

 The curtain fell as complications from Alzheimer’s disease took center stage, marking the end of her vibrant journey. Golonka, who once illuminated both Broadway and Hollywood, bid her farewell, leaving us with memories that would forever echo in the corridors of time.

A Literary Epilogue

Golonka’s love for the arts never wavered. Even in her later years, she continued to embrace the theater world. She added another feather to her cap as she lent her talents to the Jewish Theatre. 

Her presence was a reminder that the love for one’s craft knows no bounds and that even in the twilight of life, the stage held a special place in her heart.

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