Dorothy Zbornak didn’t need words to silence her roommates on The Golden Girls. She would simply raise one eyebrow and look hard at Rose and Blanche until they quieted down. If that didn’t work, though, Dorothy had an arsenal of acid-dipped one-liners at her disposal that she would whip out whenever necessary to shut down Rose or Blanche when they grated on her last nerve—which was often, over the course of the show’s seven seasons on the air.
Played to perfection by Bea Arthur (rumor has it the casting director always envisioned a “Bea Arthur-type” actress for the part), Dorothy got some of the best lines on the whip-smart show. Arthur’s brilliantly dead-pan delivery heightened the laughs, while her brilliant facial expressions served up the knock-out punch. Rose and Blanche certainly got in a few digs of their own, but the only person who could match Dorothy in the one-liner department was her own mother. Who knew a knack for zingers could be a family trait?
Dorothy’s biting way with words may have been genetic, but we can all try to emulate it in real life, if we dare—or we can simply practice raising an eyebrow.