Bea Arthur, star of the US television sitcom, Golden Girls, has passed away.

A spokesperson for the legendary Ms Arthur said that the actress died at home of cancer, aged 86.

Famous for her one-liners and raspy voice, it was no surprise that Ms Arthur became a natural subject for female impersonators. Told of her drag following, Ms Arthus once declared: “I’m flattered.”

Her roles as Yente in Fiddler on the Roof, Maude Finley of All in the Family and Maude, and most famously, Dorothy Zbornak of Golden Girls, gained her a fervent gay following.

Tributes were paid on Entertainment Tonight over the weekend. Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfuss said: “I think of her very fondly, she was a great inspiration to me, I loved her.”