The estate of Golden Girls actress Bea Arthur, who died earlier this year, has donated $300,000 to a gay youth shelter.

The Ali Forney Center, which is located in New York City, provides services to over 1,000 LGBT youth each year.

“We work with hundreds of young people who are rejected by their families because of who they are,” said Executive Director Carl Siciliano.

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude that Bea saw that LGBT youth deserve as much love and support as any other young person, and that she placed so much value in the work we do to protect them, and to help them rebuild their lives.”

In September, the centre announced that it would name a building to house 12 homeless LGBT youth after the actress, who had long supported the organisation.

Arthur, who was a Broadway star before taking on the character of Dorothy Zbornak in The Golden Girls, passed away, aged eighty-six, of cancer in April.

The Golden Girls has become an iconic series for many gay men around the world thanks in part to its strong and outspoken female characters.

The show, which ran from 1985 to 1992, dealt positively with gay characters and explored themes rarely seen on US television at the time including coming out, gay marriage, homophobia and HIV.

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