Golden Girl Bea Arthur left us today for the Golden Gates. Sigh!
Most of us think of the Golden Girls when we hear the name Bea Arthur, but this woman brought so much talent and raw gutsiness to the stage and screen. With her deep voice & dead pan delivery, Bea was known as a wonderfully witty comedienne.
Bea was a stage actress for yeaaars until she broke into TV. As a guest star on the smash 70s sitcom, “All in the Family,” she played one no nonsense broad, Maude. The appearance was so successful that the then middle aged Bea got her own series. As Maude, Bea challenged stereotypes and took on the traditional. Her TV husband battled with alcoholism, and in a special two-part episode in 1972, Maude had an abortion– an episode that aired months before Roe v. Wade had been decided.
Bea wasn’t afraid to be unliked, and she even embraced her typecasting as an acerbic sasspot. “Look — I’m 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line,” she once told an interviewer. “What can I do about it? I can’t stay home waiting for something different. I think it’s a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting.”
Bea’s Emmy Award winning career spanned over seven decades. She made us laugh with her deep stern voice and unbelieviable timing, and she was a show stealer with her incredible ability to crack up an audience with one icy gaze. You will be missed, Bea, and we certainly thank you for being our friend.