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Beatrice Arther was born as Bernice Fankel to Philip and Rebecca Feankel on May 13, 1922. She was married to Robert Arthur, and then Gene Saks for 28 years, and they adopted two sons. Their marriage lasted from 1950-1978.
In 1972, she starred in Maude, which lasted for six seasons, and 141 episodes from September 12, 1972 to April 22, 1978. Her character Maude Findlay ran for Congress in the last season. She starred with Adrienne Barbeau, Hermoine Baddeley, Conrad Bain, Bill Macy, Rue McLanahan, J. Pat O'Malley, Esther Rolle, and Marlene Warfield. Like many of the Norman Lear shows, Maude was set in the state of New York. It is spun off of All In The Family, where Beatrice Arthur plays Cousin Maude. Maude has been through several marriages, and her daughter had been divorced.
She starred as Dorothy Zbornak in The Golden Girls in 1985 which had 180 episodes from September 14, 1985 to May 9, 1992. Dorothy has been an over-achiever and had a brother and has a sister, and is the daughter of Sophia, played by Estelle Getty. They lived with Rose, played by Betty White, all in the house of Blanche, played by Rue McLanahan. Rue McLanahan also appeared in Maude, and also in Mama's Family, which is spun off from The Carol Burnett Show. The show's town is based on Raytown Missouri, and has several different names for the places in that town. There are several continuity errors in Mama's family, and the show went through three different phases, It was on The Carol Burnett Show, NBC, and in first run syndication when many of the characters left which was around the same time that The Golden Girls premiered. Betty White also starred in Mama's Family, and both of these characters were there from 1983 until 1985, when both of them left Mama's Family to join Beatrice Arthur and Estelle Getty for the first season of The Golden Girls. Blanche and Rose often had dimwitted personalities compared to Dorothy's seriousness, which is equally as funny. Beatrice Arthur is actually older than Estelle Getty, and Estelle Getty playes Dorothy's mother, who had to wear a costume with different hair color and giant glasses to help her appear to be the oldest. Dorothy Zbornak married and had children early, and was married for a while until she was divorced. She is a tutor and driver's education teacher that is also a substitute teacher for Social Studies and Language Arts.
Other shows that Beatrice Arthur appeared in is Empty Nest and also The Golden Palace, as Dorothy Zbornak. Another show was All In The Family, as Maude Findlay. More shows are Malcolm In The Middle, My First Love, Soap, The Mary Tyler Moore Hour, For Better Or Worse, History Of The World, Biography, Entertainment Tonight, TV Land Awards, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Tony Awards, The American Comedy Awards, The People's Choice Awards, and Saturday Night Live.
She has won several Emmy and Tony awards, along with Betty White, Rue McLanahan, and Estelle Getty, who all have won awards.