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If there’s one thing The Golden Girls taught viewers, it was that all of life’s problems could be talked out over a good slice of cheesecake.
Starring Bea Arthur (as Dorothy Zbornak), Betty White (as Rose Nylund), Rue McClanahan (as Blanche Devereaux) and Estelle Getty (as Sophia Petrillo), the beloved comedy sitcom lived on NBC from 1985 until its end in 1992. To this day, Arthur’s portrayal of the strong-minded and sarcastic Dorothy remains her best known screen role and an icon of pop culture.
On the sixth anniversary of Arthur’s passing, THR rounds up five classic Dorothy Zbornak moments from The Golden Girls‘ seven-season run.
1. Sonny & Cher
In episode 18 of season five, Sophia and Dorothy dress up as Sonny & Cher while performing their own rendition of “I Got You Babe” in preparation for a local talent show. Donning a long black wig, Arthur (as Dorothy) goes so far as to mimic Cher‘s frequent hair-flipping tendencies.
2. Dorothy Gets Voted Out
When roommates Dorothy, Blanche, Sophia and Rose are forced to choose one person to leave the house due to housing restrictions, a unanimous vote singles Dorothy out. As Blanche reveals the results, Dorothy’s expression (at the 0:57 mark) says it all.
3. Long Live the Slut
Rose reveals that she has had a total of 56 boyfriends, and Dorothy is quick to give her a new title. “So the woman had 56 boyfriends in one year,” she says to Blanche, who finds the number shocking. “She’s not a slut. She is THE slut.” Pointing to Blanche, she says, “The slut is dead,” before motioning to Rose and adding, “Long live the slut!”
4. Shushing Sophia
In episode 14 of season 6, Blanche’s gay brother, Clay, and his fiance confront Blanche about their open relationship. “I’d do anything for Doug, and he’d bend over backwards for me!” Clay says. Upon hearing those words, practically bait for a wise-cracking comment from Sophia, Dorothy immediately covers her mother’s mouth.
5. Dorothy’s Biting One-Liners
Dorothy’s sarcasm is perhaps her character’s most defining trait. In a particular scene, Dorothy announces that she has to get ready for a golf date, causing Blanche to ask, “With a man?” Dorothy gives Blanche her signature deadpan stare when she retorts, “No, Blanche, with a venus flytrap.” View the scene (at the 4:14 mark) and a compilation of many of her other scathing one-liners in the video above.
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