Beatrice Arthur (born Bernice Frankel; May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009) was an American actress, comedienne, and animal rights activist.
Arthur began her career on stage in 1947 and made her Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera in 1954. She won the 1966 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Vera Charles in Mame. She went on to play Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in the Family (1971–72) and Maude (1972–78), and Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls (1985–92), winning Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1977 and 1988. Her film appearances included Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) and Mame (1974). In 2002, she starred in the one-woman show Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends.
Bea Arthur as Maude in 1973.
May 13, 1922
|Died||April 25, 2009 (aged 86)|
|Alma mater||Linden Hall School for Girls|
Blackstone College for Girls
The New School
|Occupation||Actress, comedienne, singer, activist|
Robert Alan Aurthur
(m. 1947; div. 1950)
(m. 1950; div. 1978)
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1942–1944|
|Unit||United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Beatrice Arthur was born Bernice Frankel on May 13, 1922, to Rebecca (née Pressner; 1895–1985, born in Austria) and Philip Frankel (1885–1973, born in Poland) in Brooklyn, New York. Arthur was raised in a Jewish home with sisters Gertrude and Marian.
In 1933, the Frankel family relocated to Cambridge, Maryland, where her parents subsequently operated a women's clothing shop. At age 16, Frankel developed a serious condition called Coagulopathy, in which her blood would not clot. Concerned for her health, her parents decided to send her to Linden Hall School for Girls, an all-girls' boarding school in Lititz, Pennsylvania, for her final two years of high school. Afterwards she studied for a year at Blackstone College for Girls in Blackstone, Virginia.
During World War II, she worked as a truck driver and typist in the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve, receiving an Honorable Discharge in September 1944 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
After serving in the Marines, Frankel studied for a year at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where she became a licensed medical technician. After interning at a local hospital for the summer, Frankel decided against working as a lab technician, departing for New York City in 1947 to enroll in the School of Drama at The New School.
From 1947, Arthur studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York, N.Y. with German director Erwin Piscator. Arthur began her acting career as a member of an off-Broadway theater group at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City in the late 1940s. On stage, her roles included Lucy Brown in the 1954 Off-Broadway premiere of Marc Blitzstein's English-language adaptation of Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera, Nadine Fesser in the 1957 premiere of Herman Wouk's Nature's Way at the Coronet Theatre, Yente the Matchmaker in the 1964 premiere of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.
In 1966, Arthur auditioned for the title role in the musical Mame, which her husband Gene Saks was set to direct, but Angela Lansbury won the role instead. Arthur accepted the supporting role of Vera Charles, for which she won great acclaim, winning a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical the same year. She reprised the role in the unsuccessful 1974 film version opposite Lucille Ball. In 1981, she appeared in Woody Allen's The Floating Light Bulb.
In 1971, Arthur was invited by Norman Lear to guest-star on his sitcom All in the Family, as Maude Findlay, the cousin of Edith Bunker. An outspoken liberal feminist, Maude was the antithesis role to the conservative Republican character Archie Bunker, who described her as a "New Deal fanatic". Nearly 50, Arthur's tart turn on All in the Family impressed viewers as well as executives at CBS who, she would later recall, asked "'Who is that girl? Let's give her her own series.'"
That series, previewed in her second All in the Family appearance, would be simply titled "Maude". The show, debuting in 1972, found her living in the affluent community of Tuckahoe, Westchester County, New York, with her fourth husband Walter (Bill Macy) and divorced daughter Carol (Adrienne Barbeau). Her performance in the role garnered Arthur several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, including her Emmy win in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Maude would also earn a place for Arthur in the history of the women's liberation movement.
The series addressed serious sociopolitical topics of the era that were considered taboo for a sitcom, including the Vietnam War, the Nixon Administration, Maude's bid for a Congressional seat, divorce, menopause, drug use, alcoholism, nervous breakdown, mental illness, women's lib, gay rights, abortion, and spousal abuse. A prime example is "Maude's Dilemma", a two-part episode airing near Thanksgiving of 1972 in which Maude's character grapples with a late-life pregnancy, ultimately deciding to have an abortion. Even though abortion was legal in New York State since 1970, as well as in California since its state's 1969 on-demand ruling, it was illegal in many other regions of the country and, as such, sparked controversy. As a result, dozens of affiliates refused to broadcast the episode when it was originally scheduled, substituting either a repeat from earlier in the season or a Thanksgiving TV special in its place. However, by the time of the summer rerun season six months later all the flak had died down, and the stations that refused to air the episode upon its first run reinstated it for the reruns the following summer. As a result, a reported 65 million viewers watched the two episode arc either in their first run that November or during the following summer as a rerun. The episode initially aired two months before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the procedure nationwide in the Roe v. Wade outcome in January 1973.
By 1978, however, Arthur decided to move on from the series. Later the same year (1978), she costarred in Star Wars Holiday Special, in which she had a song and dance routine in the Mos Eisley cantina. She hosted The Beatrice Arthur Special on CBS on January 19, 1980, which paired the star in a musical comedy revue with Rock Hudson, Melba Moore and Wayland Flowers and Madame.
Arthur returned to television in the short-lived 1983 sitcom Amanda's (an adaptation of the British series Fawlty Towers). Unfortunately, the show was a not a hit with audiences and only 10 of the 13 filmed episodes actually aired.
In 1985, Arthur was cast in The Golden Girls, in which she played Dorothy Zbornak, a divorced substitute teacher living in a Miami house owned by widow Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan). Her other roommates included widow Rose Nylund (Betty White) and Dorothy's Sicilian mother, Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty). Getty was actually a year younger than Arthur in real life. The series was a hit, and remained a top-ten ratings fixture for six of its seven seasons. Her performance led to several Emmy nominations over the course of the series and an Emmy win in 1988. Arthur decided to leave the show after seven years, and in 1992 the show was moved from NBC to CBS and retooled as The Golden Palace in which the other three actresses reprised their roles, with Cheech Marin as their new foil. Arthur made a guest appearance in a two-part episode, but the new series lasted only one season.
Arthur sporadically appeared in films, reprising her stage role as Vera Charles in the 1974 film adaption of Mame, opposite Lucille Ball. She portrayed overbearing mother Bea Vecchio in Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), and had a cameo as a Roman unemployment clerk in Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I (1981). She appeared in the 1995 American movie For Better or Worse as Beverly Makeshift.
After Arthur left The Golden Girls, she made several guest appearances on television shows and organized and toured in her one-woman show, alternately titled An Evening with Bea Arthur as well as And Then There's Bea. She made a guest appearance on the American cartoon Futurama, in the Emmy-nominated 2001 episode "Amazon Women in the Mood", as the voice of the "Femputer" who ruled the giant Amazonian women. She appeared in a first-season episode of Malcolm in the Middle as Mrs. White, one of Dewey's babysitters. She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance. She also appeared as Larry David's mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
In 2002, she returned to Broadway, starring in Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends, a collection of stories and songs (with musician Billy Goldenberg) based on her life and career. The show was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.
In addition to appearing in a number of programs looking back at her own work, Arthur performed in stage and television tributes for Jerry Herman, Bob Hope, Ellen DeGeneres. In 2004, she appeared in Richard Barone's "There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee" at the Hollywood Bowl, performing "Johnny Guitar" and "The Shining Sea". In 2005, she participated in the Comedy Central roast of Pamela Anderson, where she recited sexually explicit passages from Anderson's book Star Struck in a deadpan fashion.
In 1999, Arthur told an interviewer of the three influences in her career: "Sid Caesar taught me the outrageous; [method acting guru] Lee Strasberg taught me what I call reality; and [original Threepenny Opera star] Lotte Lenya, whom I adored, taught me economy." Another source of influence to Arthur, was that of famed actress/director Ida Lupino whom Arthur praised as, "My dream was to become a very small blonde movie star like Ida Lupino and those other women I saw up there on the screen during the Depression. "
Arthur was married twice. Her first marriage took place during her time in the military, when she married fellow Marine Robert Alan Aurthur, later a screenwriter, television, and film producer and director, whose surname she took and kept (though with a modified spelling). Shortly after they divorced in 1950, she married director Gene Saks with whom she adopted two sons, Matthew (born in 1961), an actor, and Daniel (born in 1964), a set designer; they remained married until 1978.
In 1972, she moved to Los Angeles and sublet her apartment on Central Park West in New York City and her country home in Bedford, New York. In a 2003 interview, in London promoting her one-woman show, she described the British capital as her "favourite city in the world".
Arthur was a committed animal rights activist and frequently supported People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaigns. Arthur joined PETA in 1987 after a Golden Girls anti-fur episode. Arthur wrote letters, made personal appearances and placed ads against the use of furs, foie gras, and farm animal cruelty by KFC suppliers. In Norfolk, Virginia, near the site of the PETA headquarters, there is a dog park named the Bea Arthur Dog Park in her honor.
Arthur was a longtime champion of equal rights for women and an active advocate of the elderly, and Jewish communities, in both her major television roles and through her charity work and personal outspokenness.
Regarding politics, Arthur herself was a liberal Democrat who confirmed her views by saying, "I've been a Democrat my whole life. That's what makes Maude and Dorothy so believable, we have the same viewpoints on how our country should be handled."
Arthur was also a mentor, surrogate mother and friend to Adrienne Barbeau, who co-starred opposite Arthur on Maude for six seasons. While Barbeau was unavailable for the last two seasons due to her schedule, they remained close and stayed in touch until Arthur's passing. About her relationship with Arthur, Barbeau said in a 2018 interview with Dread Central.com, "I was doing an interview for this one-woman show that I am doing and the interviewer asked, 'What do people usually ask you,' and I said, 'They always want to know what it was like working with Bea.' She was fantastic and, you know, I realized years later how much I took it for granted because it was my first experience on television. I just assumed that everyone was as giving as she was, as professional as she was, that everyone who was doing a TV show showed up knowing their lines and showed up on time and was willing to say to the writers, 'I think this line was funnier if Adie had said it or Conrad had said it or Bill had said it.' I mean, she was just the best, she was the best, very funny. She was not Maude when she wasn't saying those lines. I don't know if I'd say she was quiet. She was a homebody. She had her sons, her dog and her cooking and she wasn't into the celebrity scene and she was a great lady. I loved her dearly and we had a great cast and they were my family for six years. I loved each of them and all of them and it was the best experience anyone could've had, being introduced to television like that!"
A private and introverted woman, according to her friends, Arthur died of cancer at her home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles on April 25, 2009. She was two and a half weeks short of her 87th birthday. She was survived by her two sons and two granddaughters.
On April 28, 2009, the Broadway community paid tribute to Arthur by dimming the marquees of New York City's Broadway theater district in her memory for one minute at 8:00 p.m. On September 16, 2009, a public tribute to Arthur was held at the Majestic Theatre in Manhattan, where friends and colleagues including Angela Lansbury, Norman Lear, Rosie O'Donnell and Rue McClanahan paid tribute to the actress.
Arthur's co-stars from The Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan and Betty White, commented on her death via telephone on an April 27 episode of Larry King Live. On the Today Show by phone, McClanahan said she and Arthur got along together "like cream." White said, "I knew it would hurt, I just didn't know it would hurt this much."
Longtime friends Adrienne Barbeau (with whom she had worked on Maude) and Angela Lansbury (with whom she had worked in Mame) reflected on her death. Barbeau said, "We've lost a unique, incredible talent. No one could deliver a line or hold a take like Bea and no one was more generous or giving to her fellow performers". Lansbury said, "She became and has remained my bosom buddy [...] I am deeply saddened by her passing, but also relieved that she is released from the pain".
Arthur bequeathed $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center, a New York City organization that provides housing for homeless LGBT youths. The center was heavily damaged in October 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, but has since been restored and re-opened. The Bea Arthur Residence, which opened in 2017, is an 18-bed residence in Manhattan for homeless LGBT youth operated by the Ali Forney Center.
Arthur won the American Theatre Wing's Tony Award in 1966 as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance that year as Vera Charles in the original Broadway production of Jerry Herman's musical Mame.
Arthur received the third most nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series with nine; only Julia Louis-Dreyfus (11) and Mary Tyler Moore (10) have more. She received the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series twice, once in 1977 for Maude and again in 1988 for The Golden Girls. She was inducted into the Academy's Television Hall of Fame in 2008.
On June 8, 2008, The Golden Girls was awarded the Pop Culture award at the Sixth Annual TV Land Awards. Arthur (in one of her final public appearances) accepted the award with McClanahan and White.
|1959||That Kind of Woman||WAC||Uncredited|
|1970||Lovers and Other Strangers||Bea Vecchio|
|1981||History of the World, Part I||Dole office clerk||Uncredited|
|1995||For Better or Worse||Beverly Makeshift|
|2000||Enemies of Laughter||Paul's Mother|
|1951–58||Kraft Television Theatre|
|1951||Once Upon a Tune|
|1951–53, 1955–58||Studio One in Hollywood|
|1955||Max Liebman Presents: Kaleidoscope|
|1954–56||Caesar's Hour||Regular performer|
|1957||Washington Square||2 episodes|
|The Steve Allen Show|
|1958||The Seven Lively Arts|
|Tonight Starring Jack Paar|
|The Gift of the Magi|
|1959||The George Gobel Show|
|1960||The Best of Anything||Television film|
|1961||The Perry Como Show|
|1962||The Garry Moore Show|
|1963||The Sid Caesar Show|
|1971–72||All in the Family||Maude Findlay||2 episodes|
|1973||The 45th Annual Academy Awards|
|1974||The 28th Annual Tony Awards|
|1974–80||The Mike Douglas Show||6 episodes|
|1974–85||The Merv Griffin Show||3 episodes|
|1974–90||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||8 episodes|
|1976–79||Saturday Night Live||2 episodes|
|1977||The 31st Annual Tony Awards|
|The 29th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|1978||CBS: On the Air|
|The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Star Wars Holiday Special||Ackmena||Television film|
|1979||The Mary Tyler Moore Hour||Herself||Episode #1.2|
|1980||The Beatrice Arthur Special||Herself (Host / Performer)||Television special|
|30 Years of TV Comedy's Greatest Hits: To Laughter with Love|
|Soap||Angel||Episode: "Jessica's Wonderful Life"|
|Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope-Hope, Women and Song|
|The 35th Annual Tony Awards|
|The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|1982||Bob Hope's Women I Love: Beautiful But Funny|
|Nights of 100 Stars|
|Broadway Plays Washington on Kennedy Center Tonight|
|1983||Amanda's||Amanda Cartwright||13 episodes|
|The 9th Annual People's Choice Awards|
|1984||The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Joan Collins|
|The 1st Academy TV Hall of Fame|
|a.k.a. Pablo||Press Agent||Episode: "My Son, the Gringo"|
|P.O.P.||Rosalyn Gordon||Television film|
|1985–92||The Golden Girls||Dorothy Zbornak||180 episodes|
|1985||The NBC All Star Hour|
|The 37th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|The 10th Circus of the Stars|
|The 40th Annual Tony Awards|
|1985–2008||Entertainment Tonight||Herself||7 episodes|
|1986||All Star Party for Clint Eastwood|
|The 38th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration|
|The 43rd Annual Golden Globe Awards|
|Walt Disney World's 15th Birthday Celebration|
|Late Night with David Letterman|
|The 46th Annual Golden Apple Awards|
|The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts|
|1987||The 39th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|All Star Party for Joan Collins|
|Comic Relief '87|
|All Star Gala at Ford's Theater||Host|
|The 1st Annual American Comedy Awards|
|The 44th Annual Golden Globe Awards|
|The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards|
|This Is Your Life|
|Happy 100th Birthday Hollywood|
|Sally Jessy Raphael Show|
|The 41st Annual Tony Awards|
|Family Comedy Hour|
|1988||The 9th Annual American Black Achievement Awards|
|The 45th Annual Golden Globe Awards|
|In Performance at the White House; A Salute to Broadway: Showstoppers|
|Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration|
|The 40th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Mickey's 60th Birthday||Dorothy Zbornak|
|The 13th Circus of the Stars|
|My First Love||Jean Miller||Television movie|
|1989||The 46th Annual Golden Globe Awards|
|Empty Nest||Dorothy Zbornak||Episode: "Dumped"|
|The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards|
|Bob Hope's Birthday Spectacular in Paris|
|The Society of Singers Presents a Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald|
|The 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Later with Bob Costas|
|The Arsenio Hall Show|
|The 49th Annual Golden Apple Awards|
|Live with Regis and Kathie Lee|
|1990||The TV Academy Tribute to Angela Lansbury|
|The 21st BAFTA Awards|
|The 4th Annual American Comedy Awards|
|The Earth Day Special|
|Aspel & Company|
|Night of 100 Stars III|
|The 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Des O'Connor Tonight|
|A Conversation with Dinah|
|Live from the London Palladium: Happy Birthday, Happy New Year!|
|1991||The 17th Annual People Choice Awards|
|The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards|
|The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards|
|The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards|
|Funny Women of Television|
|Dame Edna's Hollywood|
|1992||Evening at Pops|
|The Howard Stern Show|
|The 6th Annual American Comedy Awards|
|The Golden Palace||Dorothy Hollingsworth||Episodes: "Seems Like Old Times" (Parts 1 & 2)|
|Verstehen Sie Spaß?|
|The 1992 Pacific Center HIV-AIDS Benefit|
|1993||The 7th Annual American Comedy Awards|
|This Joint is Jumpin'|
|The 47th Annual Tony Awards|
|1994||Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl||Herself (Performer)||Television special|
|The 8th Annual American Comedy Awards|
|Bob Hope's Birthday Memories|
|1995||The 9th Annual Genesis Awards|
|50 Years of Funny Females|
|1996||The 10th American Comedy Awards|
|The 50th Annual Tony Awards|
|1997||Dave's World||Mel Bloom||3 episodes|
|The Rosie O'Donnell Show|
|1998||The RuPaul Show|
|Ellen||Herself||Episode: "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute: Part 1"|
|CBS: The First 50 Years|
|NY TV: By the People Who Made It-Part I & II|
|1999||The 53rd Annual Tony Awards|
|Beggars and Choosers||Herself||5 episodes|
|Emily of New Moon||The Voice||Episode: "A Fall from Grace"|
|The Martin Short Show|
|2000||So Graham Norton|
|Malcolm in the Middle||Mrs. White||Episode: "Water Park"|
|Intimate Portrait: Rue McClanahan|
|E! True Hollywood Story: The Golden Girls|
|E! True Hollywood Story: Good Times|
|E! True Hollywood Story: All in the Family|
|The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television|
|2001||Intimate Portrait: Estelle Getty|
|Futurama||Femputer||Episode: "Amazon Women in the Mood"|
|2002–07||The View||Herself / Guest||2 episodes|
|2002||CBS News Sunday Morning|
|The Rosie O'Donnell Show|
|Good Morning America|
|The Daily Show|
|The Big O! True West Hollywood Story|
|TV Most Censored Moments|
|TV Tales: The Golden Girls|
|Open Mike with Mike Bullard|
|Because I Said So|
|Inside TV Land: Taboo TV|
|2003||Great Women on Television Comedy|
|Intimate Portrait: Bea Arthur|
|TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV|
|Broadway: The Golden Age by the Legends Who Were There|
|Through the Keyhole|
|The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments||Herself (Host)||Television special|
|Today with Des and Mel|
|Richard & Judy|
|The Terry and Gaby Show|
|2004||The 2nd Annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV|
|The Best of So Graham Norton|
|Inside TV Land: Primetime Politics|
|TV's Greatest Sidekicks|
|2005||Inside TV Land: Tickled Pink|
|Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson|
|TV Land Confidential|
|Curb Your Enthusiasm||Larry's mother||Episode: "The End"|
|2006||Biography: Bea Arthur|
|The 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catchphrases||Herself||5 episodes|
|2007||TV Land Confidential||Herself / Interviewee||Documentary (4 episodes)|
|Back to the Grind||Herself||Bea Arthur and Ed Begley Jr.|
|Entertainment Weekly & TV Land Present: The 50 Greatest TV Icons|
|2008||The 6th Annual TV Land Awards||Herself||Winner|
|2014||Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age|
|1947||The Dog Beneath the Skin|
|1948||The Taming of the Shrew||Katherina|
|1948||Six Characters in Search of an Author|
|1948||The Owl and the Pussycat|
|1949||Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme|
|1949||Yes is for a Very Young Man|
|1951||Gentlemen Prefer Blondes|
|1951||Love or Money|
|1951||The Voice of the Turtle|
|1951||Gentlemen Prefer Blondes|
|1953||The New Moon|
|1954–55||The Threepenny Opera||Lucy Brown|
|1955||What's the Rush?|
|1955||Plain and Fancy|
|1956||Mistress of the Inn|
|1958||Ulysses in Nighttown|
|1960||The Gay Divorcee at the Cherry Lane|
|1962||A Matter of Position|
|1964||Fiddler on the Roof||Yenta the Matchmaker|
|1966||Mame||Vera Charles||Won Tony Award-Featured Actress in a Musical|
|1968||A Mother's Kisses||Closed on the road|
|1981||The Floating Lightbulb|
|1981||Hey, Look Me Over!|
|1994||Easter Bonnet Competition: A Salute to 100 Years of Broadway|
|1994||La Fille du Regiment|
|1995–96||Bermuda Avenue Triangle|
|November 17, 1996||Angela Lansbury – A Celebration||Benefit concert|
|1999||Thoroughly Modern Millie|
|2000||Strike Up the Band|
|2000||The Threepenny Opera Reunion Concert|
|2000–2006||An Evening with Bea Arthur||Westport, Connecticut (July 28–30, 2000)|
Santa Fe, New Mexico (September 24, 2002)
|2001–2003||And Then There's Bea||United States Tour (April 24, 2001 – January 13, 2002)|
Melbourne, Australia (October 15–27, 2002)
|2002||Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends||New York, New York (January 29, 2002 – April 14, 2002)|
Toronto, Canada (November 20 – December 8, 2002)
|2003||Bea Arthur at The Savoy||London, England (September 15 – October 18, 2003)|
|2004||A Celebration of Life||Washington, D.C. (May 26, 2004)|
|2004||There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee||at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California (July 14, 2004)|
|2004||Bea Arthur at the El Portal||North Hollywood, California (August 5–8, 2004)|
|2005||Bea Arthur Back on Broadway (at 95th Street)||New York, New York (November 21, 2005)|
|2006||Bea Arthur Back at the El Portal||North Hollywood, California (February 16–19, 2006)|
The television show Maude, a spin-off of All in the Family, premiers, starring Beatrice Arthur as Maude Findlay, a leftist feminist who supports abortion and civil rights.
The 40th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, August 28, 1988. The ceremony was broadcast on Fox from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. The ceremony was pushed back from its newly established September date because of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Cable stations HBO and Showtime received their first major nominations at this ceremony.
Despite a season that consisted of only six episodes, newcomer series The Wonder Years won Outstanding Comedy Series. After winning his fourth consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, John Larroquette requested to have his name taken off of the ballot for future ceremonies. Frank's Place became the most recent show whose only season was nominated for Outstanding Comedy/Drama Series.
In the drama field L.A. Law came into the ceremony as the defending champ and with 15 major nominations, (second most ever by a drama series at that time), it was seen as the heavy favorite. However, it was upset by another first season show, thirtysomething which won four major awards on the night including Outstanding Drama Series, L.A. Law only won one major award. The duo of Cagney & Lacey won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the sixth consecutive year, this tied The Mary Tyler Moore Show's record for acting categories, which still stands, (it stood for all categories until The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won ten consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series). With the wins for Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty, The Golden Girls became the most recent show to have all of its cast members win Emmys. It became the second series to do so, following All in the Family. Two other programs would accomplish this feat: Will & Grace in 2003, and The Simpsons in 2014.
There was controversy during the nomination process regarding the PBS series Rumpole of the Bailey. The series was initially placed in the miniseries field, but soon after the Academy disqualified it and placed it in the drama series field. Its slot in the miniseries category was filled by The Bourne Identity.Ali Forney Center
The Ali Forney Center (AFC), based in New York City, is the largest LGBT community center helping LGBT homeless youth in the United States. The AFC both manages and develops transitional housing for its clients. The AFC helps approximately 1,000 youths every year, most between sixteen and twenty-four years old. The AFC is named after Ali Forney, a transgender youth who was murdered in New York in 1997.Amanda's
Amanda's (also known as Amanda's By The Sea) is an American sitcom based on the 1970s British sitcom Fawlty Towers that aired on ABC from February 10 to May 26, 1983. The series starred Bea Arthur as the main character, Amanda Cartwright, who owns a seaside hotel called "Amanda's By The Sea" and was Arthur's first return to series television since her sitcom Maude ended in 1978.
A total of thirteen episodes were produced, with three remaining unaired following the series' cancellation.And Then There's Maude
"And Then There's Maude (Maude's Theme)" is the theme song for the television series Maude (1972–1978), written by Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Dave Grusin, and performed by Donny Hathaway.
Keeping with the theme of the liberal persona Maude (played by Bea Arthur) embodied, the theme lyrics compared historical figures Lady Godiva, Joan of Arc, Isadora Duncan and Betsy Ross to Maude.
"Lady Godiva was a freedom rider,
She didn't care if the whole world looked,
Joan of Arc with the Lord to guide her,
She was a sister who really cooked,
Isadora was the first bra-burner,
Ain't ya glad she showed up? (Oh yeah!)
And when the country was fallin' apart,
Betsy Ross got it all sewed up.
(And then there's Maude),
And then there's Maude,
(And then there's Maude),
And then there's Maude,
(And then there's Maude),
And then there's Maude,
(And then there's.....),
That uncompromisin', enterprisin', anything but tranquilizin',
Right on Maude!"Betty White
Betty Marion White Ludden (born January 17, 1922) is an American actress and comedian, with the longest television career of any female entertainer, spanning 80 years. Regarded as a pioneer of television, she is one of the first women to have control both in front of and behind the camera and is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth), which contributed to her receiving the honorary title Mayor of Hollywood in 1955.She is known for her award-winning roles as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–77) and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls (1985–92) – the Writers Guild of America has included both sitcoms in its list of the 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time – and Elka Ostrovsky on Hot in Cleveland (2010–15).
A staple guest of many American game shows such as Password, Match Game, and The $25,000 Pyramid, White has been dubbed the 'First Lady of Game Shows' and became the first woman to receive an Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host in 1983 for the show Just Men! She is also known for her appearances on Boston Legal, Mama's Family, and Saturday Night Live.
In a career that has spanned 80 years, she has received eight Emmy Awards in various categories, three American Comedy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Grammy Award. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is a Television Hall of Fame inductee (class of 1995), and a Disney Legend (class of 2009).Caustic humour
Caustic humour is a type of humour which relies on witty insults. As is implied by the name (which literally means humour which is designed to burn or to corrode), it involves the clever use of language to convey biting, insulting, or sometimes even cruel remarks.
This kind of humour is often attributed to such comedians and comedic writers as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Bea Arthur, Andrew Dice Clay, Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Simon Amstell and the "Wild" Ben Mason, philosophers Voltaire and Ludwig Wittgenstein and politicians Sir Michael Cullen, Paul Keating, Derryn Hinch, and Dennis Skinner.Gene Saks
Gene Saks (November 8, 1921 – March 28, 2015) was an American stage, film director, and actor. An inductee of the American Theater Hall of Fame, his acting career beginning with a debut on Broadway in 1949. As a director, he was nominated for seven Tony Awards, winning three for his direction of I Love My Wife, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues. He also directed a number of films during his career. He was married to Bea Arthur from 1950 until 1980, and subsequently to Keren Saks, from 1980 to his death in 2015.Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
The Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy is an award presented annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role on a musical or comedy television series for the calendar year.
It was first awarded at the 19th Golden Globe Awards on March 5, 1962 under the title Best TV Star - Female to Pauline Fredericks. The nominees for the award announced annually starting in 1963. The award initially honored actresses in both comedy and drama genres until 1969, when the award was split into categories that honored comedic and dramatic performances separately. It was presented under the new title Best TV Actress – Musical or Comedy and in 1980 under its current title.
Since its inception, the award has been given to 42 actresses. Rachel Brosnahan is the current recipient of the award for her role as the title character on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Brosnahan also won the award in the prior year for the same role. Carol Burnett has won the most awards in this category with five wins and received the most nominations at 12.Logie Awards of 1988
The 30th Annual TV Week Logie Awards was held on Friday 11 March 1988 at the Hyatt on Collins in Melbourne, and broadcast on the Nine Network. The ceremony was hosted by Daryl Somers and guests included Mickey Rooney and Bea Arthur.Lucille Lortel Theatre
The Lucille Lortel Theatre is an off-Broadway playhouse at 121 Christopher Street in Manhattan's West Village. It was built in 1926 as a 590-seat movie theater called the New Hudson, later known as Hudson Playhouse. The interior is largely unchanged to this day.
In the early 1950s, the site was converted to an off-Broadway theater as Theatre de Lys, opening on June 9, 1953, with a production of Maya, a play by Simon Gantillon starring Kay Medford, Vivian Matalon, and Susan Strasberg. It closed after seven performances. Much more successful was The Threepenny Opera which opened March 10, 1954, with a cast that included Bea Arthur, John Astin, Lotte Lenya, Leon Lishner, Scott Merrill, Gerald Price, Charlotte Rae and Jo Sullivan. Because of an incoming booking, it was forced to close after 96 performances. Re-opening September 20, 1955, with largely the same cast, The Threepenny Opera this time played until December 17, 1961, a then record-setting run for a musical in New York City.In 1955, financier Louis Schweitzer acquired the building as an anniversary present for his wife, actress-producer Lucille Lortel. In 1981, the year of her 81st birthday, the theatre was renamed in her honor. After Lortel's death, the theatre was left to the Lucille Lortel Foundation.Mame (musical)
Mame is a musical with the book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Originally titled My Best Girl, it is based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and a 1956 Broadway play, by Lawrence and Lee, that starred Rosalind Russell. Set in New York City and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, it focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis, whose famous motto is "Life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death." Her fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when the young son of her late brother arrives to live with her. They cope with the Depression in a series of adventures.
In 1958, a film titled Auntie Mame, based on the play, was released by Warner Brothers once again starring Rosalind Russell in the title role. Russell was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for her portrayal.
The musical opened on Broadway in 1966, starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur. The production became a hit and spawned a 1974 film with Lucille Ball in the title role and Arthur reprising her supporting role, as well as a London production, a Broadway revival, and a 40th anniversary revival at the Kennedy Center in 2006.Maude (TV series)
Maude is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS network from September 12, 1972, until April 22, 1978.
Maude stars Beatrice Arthur as Maude Findlay, an outspoken, middle-aged, politically liberal woman living in suburban Tuckahoe, Westchester County, New York, with her fourth husband, household appliance store owner Walter Findlay (Bill Macy). Maude embraces the tenets of women's liberation, always votes for Democratic Party candidates, and advocates for civil rights and racial and gender equality. However, her overbearing and sometimes domineering personality often gets her into trouble when speaking about these issues.
The show was billed as the first spin-off of All in the Family, on which Beatrice Arthur had made two appearances in the character of Maude, Edith Bunker's cousin. Like All in the Family, Maude was a sitcom with topical storylines created by producers Norman Lear and Bud Yorkin.
Unusual for a U.S. sitcom, several episodes (such as "Maude's Night Out" and "The Convention") featured only the characters of Maude and her husband Walter, in what amounted to half-hour "two-hander" teleplays.My First Love (1988 film)
My First Love is a 1988 comedy-romance television film starring Richard Kiley and Bea Arthur.Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Beginning with the 18th Primetime Emmy Awards, leading actresses in comedy have competed alone. However, these comedic performances included actresses from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:
# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, prior to the category's creation.
§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, prior to the category's creation.Ready, Willing, and Disabled
"Ready, Willing, and Disabled" is the 15th episode of the third season of Family Guy. It guest stars Tony Danza as himself portraying Joe Swanson, Valerie Bertinelli as herself portraying Bonnie Swanson, and Alex Rocco as Bea Arthur portraying Peter Griffin. The title is a pun on the saying, "Ready, willing, and able."Susan Harris
Susan Harris (née Spivak; born October 28, 1940) is an American television comedy writer and producer.
Harris created numerous TV series: Fay, Soap, Loves Me, Loves Me Not, Benson, It Takes Two, The Golden Girls, Empty Nest, Nurses, Good & Evil, The Golden Palace and The Secret Lives of Men.
She also wrote or co-wrote all of the episodes of Soap. Her most financially successful show was The Golden Girls. Harris married television producer Paul Junger Witt on September 18, 1983; he co-produced all the shows she created. She was married from 1965 to 1969 to actor Berkeley Harris, and is the mother of author Sam Harris. The first script Harris sold was Then Came Bronson. She then wrote for Love, American Style, All in the Family, The Partridge Family and the TV adaptation of Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park. Her abortion episode for the Bea Arthur-starring series Maude in the 1970s won Harris the Humanitas Prize. She would later work with Arthur again in the 1980s when Arthur took one of the lead roles in The Golden Girls.
Harris had the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, which affected her ability to participate in the production of The Golden Girls. In an episode of that show titled "Sick and Tired" (1989), Harris wrote some of her struggles into the storyline where Arthur's character Dorothy was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. It later turned out Harris had an adrenal issue, but she wrote the episode as "my revenge script for all the people out there who had a disease like that".Harris formed the production company Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions with Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas. She was honored with the Writers' Guild's Paddy Chayefsky Award in 2005 and inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2011.The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom created by Susan Harris that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes spanning seven seasons. The show stars Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty as four older women who share a home in Miami, Florida. It was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, in association with Touchstone Television, and Paul Junger Witt. Tony Thomas and Harris served as the original executive producers.
The Golden Girls received critical acclaim throughout most of its run and won several awards including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series twice. It also won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Each of the four stars received an Emmy Award, making it one of only three sitcoms in the award's history to achieve this. The series also ranked among the top-10 highest-rated programs for six of its seven seasons. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Golden Girls number 54 on its list of the 60 Best Series of All Time. In 2014, the Writers Guild of America placed the sitcom at number 69 in their list of the "101 Best Written TV Series of All Time".What'll I Do
"What'll I Do" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1923. It was introduced by singers Grace Moore and John Steel late in the run of Berlin's third Music Box Revue and was also included in the following year's edition. In the lyrics, the singer questions how he or she will get by now that a recent romance has ended.
The song was used as a generalized theme in Nelson Riddle's Academy Award-winning period score for the 1974 film The Great Gatsby starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, sung by character actor William Atherton. It was sung by Mary Steenburgen in the 1991 movie The Butcher's Wife, and was used as the theme tune to the British sitcom Birds of a Feather, performed by its lead stars Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson. An instrumental version of the song was used under the closing scene of "I Do, Adieu" (1987), the fifth-season finale of the sitcom Cheers. The Johnny Mathis version of the song was also used in the closing scene of "The Jet Set," the eleventh episodes in the second season of Mad Men. The song was also performed by Bea Arthur in the episode "Journey to the Center of Attention" (1992) of The Golden Girls.