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Jimmy Kimmel bought topless Bea Arthur painting for pal

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May 24, 2013 | 11:03pm EDT

Funnyman Jimmy Kimmel has been revealed as the mystery buyer who paid $1.9 million (£1.2 million) for a painting of topless actress Bea Arthur. On Friday (24May13), comedian Jeffrey Ross tweeted a photo of himself with the John Currin original, which was sold at auction earlier this week (beg20May13), and hinted that the painting was a gift from the late night TV host. Ross wrote, "Biggest surprise of my life. Thank you Jimmy Kimmel - the most generous guy in the world!" Kimmel responded by tweeting, "Bea is watching over us, but especially you." The 1991 nude, titled Bea Arthur Naked, was sold at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale in New York on Wednesday (15May13). Publicists for both Kimmel and Ross have yet to comment on the story. Arthur, the star of TV sitcom The Golden Girls, died in 2009.

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