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An American comedian, actress and singer, Beatrice Bea Arthur was born on May 13, 1922. Bea Arthur was inducted into Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2008.
In June 2008, Bea accepted the 'Pop Culture' award at the Sixth Annual TV Land Awards. She was born to Philip and Rebecca Frankel in New York City on May 13, 1922.
After moving to Maryland, she attended the now-defunct Blackstone College in Blackstone, Virginia. Arthur began her acting career as a member of an off Broadway theater group in the late 1940s. The group would perform at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.
On stage, Bea Arthur roles included Lucy Brown in the 1954 off-broadway premiere of Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, Yente the Matchmaker in the 1964 premiere of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, and a 1966 Tony Award-winning portrayal of Vera Charles to Angela Lansbury's Mame just to name a few.
In 1972, she was cast as the title character in the television series Maude. The show was a spin-off from All in the Family, on which Arthur played a role of Edith Bunker's (Jean Stapleton)'s cousin. Her role garnered several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. It brought Bea Emmy win in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
The year 1978 saw Bea Arthur costarring in the much derided The Star Wars Holiday Special. In the show she had a song and dance routine. In 1981, Arthur appeared in Woody Allen's The Floating Lightbulb.
After appearing in the short-lived 1983 sitcom Amanda's Fawlty Towers, she was cast in the hit sitcom The Golden Girls in 1985. In the sitcom she played Dorothy Zbornak, a divorced substitute teacher.
The series turned out to be a huge hit, remaining a top ten ratings fixture for six seasons. Arthurs performance led to several Emmy nominations over the course of the series and an Emmy win in 1988.
After Arthur left The Golden Girls, she made several guest appearances on television shows. She also organized and toured with her one-woman show. Later, she made a guest appearance on American cartoon Futurama, in the Emmy-nominated episode Amazon Women in the Mood.
Arthur appeared in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. She acted as Dewey's babysitter who possessed an unfortunate harmony with Dewey's likes and dislikes. She also showed up unexpectedly as Larry David's mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
In 2002, Bea Arthur made a triumphant return to Broadway: Just Between Friends, a collection of stories and songs based on her life and long career. Just Between Friends was nominated for a Tony award for Best Special Theatrical Event. Later in 2005, she participated in the Comedy Central roast of Pamela Anderson.
Today, shes living in the Greater Los Angeles Area. She has also sublet her apartment on Central Park West in New York City and her country home in Bedford, New York. Arthur has one living sister who lives in Montreal, Quebec.
In an ongoing career spanning six decades, Bea Arthur has achieved success as the title character, Maude Findlay, on the 1970s sitcom Maude, and as Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980 and 1990's sitcom The Golden Girls.