( b. May 13, 1922 New York, New York, USA - d. Apr 25, 2009 Los Angeles, California ) Female
Born Bernice Frankel, Beatrice (Bea) Arthur appeared at Off-Broadway's Theatre de Lys in the famed production of The Threepenny Opera, which featured Arthur as Lucy Brown and Lotte Lenya as Jenny.
Ms. Arthur's Broadway career began in 1955 with the original musical Plain and Fancy and continued with roles in Seventh Heaven and Nature's Way, but it was her work as Yente (the matchmaker) in the original 1964 staging of Fiddler on the Roof that won the attention of audiences and critics.
Ms. Arthur won a Tony Award two years later for her performance as the boozy Vera Charles in the original production of Jerry Herman's Mame, which cast Angela Lansbury in the title role. Ms. Arthur would later reprise the role of Vera on film opposite the Mame of Lucille Ball.
Ms. Arthur would return to Broadway only two more times following Mame: in the play The Floating Light Bulb and in her one-woman show Bea Arthur on Broadway, which was nominated for a 2002 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event.
She was nominated for a total of 11 Emmy Awards, winning two: one for her work in "Maude" and the second for her work on "The Golden Girls." Ms. Arthur's most recent Emmy nomination was in 2000 for her guest appearance on "Malcolm in the Middle."