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Monday, April 27, 2009

Remembering Bea Arthur

by Jennifer Squires Biller

TV funny lady Bea Arthur passed away Saturday at age 86, after battling cancer. Our thoughts are with her family, colleagues and fans.

Arthur was famous for several roles, including the ‘70s groundbreaking show, Maude, a spin-off of All in the Family. Arthur played the strong title character, and the show addressed many political and women’s issues, including abortion. She later went on to play one of the beloved Golden Girls, Dorothy.

Arthur was also an acclaimed stage and film actress. She won a Tony for her role in Mame, with Angela Lansbury.

Maude and Golden Girl costar Rue McClanahan told TV Guide that Arthur was a trailblazer for women’s comedy. "She showed me how to be very brave in playing comedy," McClanahan said. "I'll miss that courage. And I'll miss that voice."

I wasn’t very old when Maude was popular. I have faint memories of it being on in the background in my family room as a kid, but I truly didn’t connect with Arthur until her sarcastic run as Dorothy on the Golden Girls. My college roommate and I would watch the episodes during weekdays, in between classes, and despite the fact that the four ladies were senior citizens and we weren’t even 20, we could always find some parallel to our current lives.

The Golden Girls made me laugh, especially Dorothy’s quick tongue and dry wit. “Thank you for being a friend,” Bea Arthur, during those college years. There is no question you were a golden girl.

To honor Arthur, the Hallmark Channel is running a Golden Girls Memorial Day marathon, featuring Dorothy-centered episodes on Monday, May 25, starting at 6:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. ET.


Anonymous said...

A friend sent me this link, it contains some of Bea Arthur's last interview.
I love your site and I thought you might like it.

We need to contact Merv Griffin Productions and see if entire interview will be aired.
I'd hate for an full interview with Bea or the other ladies in the clip to go unseen. Pass it along maybe we can get the interview seen.

All the best,


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