The Golden Girls

Golden Girls actress Bea Arthur has died, aged 86.

Arthur, an actress, singer and comedian who played Dorothy Zbornak, died at home of cancer on Saturday, a family spokesman said.

She was also famous for the sitcom Maude, first creating the character in the comedy series All In The Family.

In 1972, Arthur was cast as the title character in Maude. Her character was an outspoken liberal living in the affluent area of Westchester County, New York, with her husband, Walter, daughter Carol. Maude was a spin-off from All in the Family, on which Arthur had appeared a couple of times in the same role. She received many Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for the role, and she won an Emmy in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

In 1985, Arthur was cast in the hit sitcom The Golden Girls in a role which she is best known for. She played Dorothy Zbornak, a divorced substitute teacher in Miami with two friends, Blance and Rose, played by Rue McClanahan and Betty White, and her mother Sophia, played by Estelle Getty, who died in July last year. Estelle died of natural causes, just days before what would have been her 85th birthday.

The series was a huge hit, and today it has a cult following. It stood in the top ten ratings fixtures for six seasons. Arthur’s performance as Dorothy led to several Emmy nominations over the course of the series, and eventually an Emmy win in 1988.

 

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