'Golden Girls' Star Bea Arthur Dies Aged 86

Tony and Emmy award-winning actress best known for her role as Dorothy on the hit series 'Golden Girls'.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Beloved television and theater star Bea Arthur passed away Saturday at her home in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.

The 86-year-old was born Beatrice Frankel to a Jewish family in New York City and became a household name on such TV shows as "Golden Girls" and "Maude".

Arthur began her career in the theater, where she won a Tony Award for the musical "Mame" and played "Yente the Matchmaker" in the Broadway premiere of Fiddler on the Roof.

Arthur was perhaps most well known for her role as Dorothy Zbornak on the hit series Golden Girls. The show, which centered on the lives of four retired women living together in a house in Miami, Florida, was a hit for six seasons and won 10 Emmys, including one for Arthur in 1988.

After Golden Girls ended its run, Arthur appeared in guest spots on TV, including a part as Larry David's mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Arthur was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008.

Estelle Getty, who played Dorothy's mother, sarcastic octogenarian Sophia Petrillo, died last July at age 84.