Bea Arthur - Golden Girls, Death & Facts

Bea Arthur was a successful actress who won both an Emmy and a Tony Award. She is best known for her roles on the television sitcoms “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.”

Who Was Bea Arthur?

New York City was the location of Bea Arthur’s birth on May 13th, 1922. She was nominated for and won a Tony Award for her work as an actor, and she is most known for her role on the sitcom All in the Family. Her portrayal of Maude led to the creation of a spin-off series that explored issues relating to women’s rights and abortion. In 1985, Arthur had a starring role in the television series The Golden Girls, which was notable for being one of the few series to include a cast of females older than 40. Arthur died in 2009.

Early Career

Bea Arthur, an actress and comedian, was named Bernice Frankel when she was born in New York City on May 13, 1922. In 1954, Arthur made a name for herself with her performance in an off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera. Since then, she has been renowned for her razor-sharp humour. She continued to be successful on stage when she performed. She was the first person to play the character of Yente, the matchmaker, in the 1964 Fiddler on the Roof production. Because of her performance as Vera Charles in the musical Mame, Arthur was even honoured with the Tony Award in 1966 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She performed the role again for the film adaptation from 1974.


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Commercial Success

After making a guest appearance on the ground-breaking situation comedy All in the Family, created by Norman Lear, Arthur landed his first television series. Her portrayal of Edith Bunker’s outspoken and liberal cousin Maude Findlay garnered much acclaim from viewers. The spin-off television series Maude debuted in 1972 and aired for a total of six seasons. The show’s first episode was set in Washington, D.C., where Maude had relocated to take up a seat in Congress there. It was a program that picked up on women’s rights and issues of the era, with its strong female protagonist, and it was broadcast at the appropriate moment. The show did not shy away from contentious subjects, such as abortion, which was discussed. In 1977, the esteemed comedy series earned Arthur her first Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She had previously had three nominations for Maude before her major win.

Bea Arthur would have to wait for another successful television series for another seven years. On Golden Girls, she portrayed Dorothy Zbornak, an elderly woman who had been divorced and was now living with friends while also caring for her mother. The comedy, which took place in Miami, followed five different women’s lives, loves, and misadventures. Betty White and Rue McClanahan, two seasoned performers who had previously collaborated with Arthur on the production of Maude, were among the ensemble members. Although Estelle Getty and Arthur’s mother were almost the same age in real life, Estelle Getty played Arthur’s mother in the film. The show is notable for being one of the very few series in television history to include a cast of females above the age of 40.

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The cast of The Golden Girls was lauded not just by viewers of the show but also by media experts and their contemporaries. The series ran for seven years, and each of its four stars was awarded an Emmy for their performance on the show. In 1988, the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series award was bestowed upon Arthur. Even though the show’s original run ended in 1992, it is still quite popular and is broadcast in syndication.

Later Roles

After the cancellation of Golden Girls, Arthur continued his acting career by appearing in a few episodes of other television shows, such as Malcolm in the Middle and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She also performed her one-woman show, titled And Then There’s Bea, on tour in 2001. Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends was the production she was a part of in 2002 that led to her being nominated for a Tony Award in the category of Special Theatrical Event. She was unsuccessful in her bid and lost out to Elaine Stritch, who, curiously, had also been considered for the role of Dorothy on The Golden Girls alongside Arthur.

In addition to her career in acting, Bea Arthur was an outspoken advocate for the rights of animals and a fighter for AIDS-related causes. And in 2016, the Bea Arthur Residence, which will be a shelter for homeless LGBT kids and named in her honour, will open its doors in New York. This was made possible in part by the generosity of Arthur.

Personal Life and Death

The second time around, Arthur tied the knot with Gene Saks, and the couple went on to have two boys together. The wedding occurred in 1950, and the divorce was finalized in 1978. On April 25, 2009, Arthur passed away from cancer in the comfort of her home in Los Angeles. It was the year 86.

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