Beatrice Arthur (born Bernice Frankel; May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009) was an American actress and comedian. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, Arthur began her career on stage in 1947, attracting critical acclaim before achieving worldwide recognition for her work on television beginning in the 1970s as Maude Findlay in the popular sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1972) and Maude (1972–1978) and later in the 1980s and 1990s as Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls (1985–1992).
She won several accolades throughout her career, beginning with the 1966 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Vera Charles in Mame. She won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1977 for Maude and 1988 for The Golden Girls. Arthur has received the third most nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series with nine; only Julia Louis-Dreyfus (11) and Mary Tyler Moore (10) have more. She was inducted into the academy's Television Hall of Fame in 2008.
Her film appearances include Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) and the film version of Mame (1974). In 2002, she starred in the one-woman show Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends. An obituary described Arthur as "the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star."
She served in the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve in World War II.
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