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Golden Girls, The


Bea Arthur

Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak

Actress and comedienne Bea Arthur stars as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak on the hit show The Golden Girls.

Arthur was born in 1922 in New York. She was a regular on Sid Caesar’s Caesar’s Hour and then she took to the stage playing Lucy Brown in the Off-Broadway premiere of Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera. She gave a show-stopping performance as Yente the Matchmaker in the premiere of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, and she also starred as Vera Charles in Mame alongside Angela Lansbury. Arthur won a Tony Award for her work in Mame and she reprised the role in the 1974 film version opposite Lucille Ball.

For her work in television, Arthur is well known for her portrayal of Edith Bunker’s cousin, Maude Findlay, on All in the Family. This role led to the spin-off series Maude for which Arthur won an Emmy. Arthur's portrayal of Dorothy on The Golden Girls led to her second Emmy win. In addition to playing Dorothy on The Golden Girls, the character also appeared on the television shows Empty Nest and The Golden Palace. Arthur won a Comedy Ace Award for her performance on Malcolm in the Middle and she played Larry David’s mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

In 2002 Arthur returned to the stage in Bea Arthur: Just Between Friends, a compilation of songs and stories based on her life and career which garnered a Tony nomination.

In 2008 Arthur was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

She passed away in 2009 in Los Angeles.