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Dorothy Zbornak (née Petrillo), portrayed by Beatrice Arthur, is a fictional character from the TV series The Golden Girls. Dorothy was the strong, sarcastic, sometimes intimidating, and arguably, most grounded of the four women in the house. In the 1,000th issue of Entertainment Weekly, Dorothy Zbornak was selected as the Grandma for "The Perfect TV Family". In flashback sequences in various episodes, a much younger Dorothy is played by actress Lynnie Greene.

Dorothy was born in Brooklyn, New York on a pinochle table at McSoley's bar (as stated by Sophia) to Italian immigrants Sophia Petrillo and Salvadore "Sal" Petrillo. She had two younger siblings: brother Phillip "Phil" Petrillo, a cross-dresser, who died in December 1990; and a sister, Gloria Petrillo-O'Connor, who married into money, and with whom Dorothy was sometimes estranged.

She accepted a date with Stanley "Stan" Zbornak (Herb Edelman) because she "felt she couldn't do any better". She became pregnant while still in high school, resulting in a shotgun wedding to Stan. The marriage produced two children: Kate Zbornak-Griffiths and Michael Zbornak.

Dorothy worked as a high school substitute teacher of American History (her college major) and English. She also taught a night-school course for adults wishing to complete their high school equivalency. Dorothy also had summer and part-time jobs, which included tutoring and working alongside Blanche Elizabeth Marie Devereaux at the Museum (causing jealousy after Dorothy appeared to have become the boss's favorite).

After her divorce, Dorothy moved into a home in Miami, Florida, with Blanche Devereaux and Rose Nylund. Shortly thereafter, her mother, Sophia, moved in after her nursing home, Shady Pines, burnt down. Dorothy shared a unique relationship with her housemates, one often laced with her famously sardonic comments; the four shared a home for seven years, and in more than one episode it was pointed out that, despite a lack of blood relation, they were as much a family as any other. A few other suitors were portrayed by well-known actors, including Dick Van Dyke and Leslie Nielsen, whose character (Lucas Hollingsworth, an uncle of Blanche's) she married in the two-part finalé episode.

Source: The Golden Girls Wiki