...where every woman over 50 is TOP DOG!

Monday, April 27, 2009

And Then There's Maude...

Emmy Award-winning actress Bea Arthur, best known as star of the hit TV comedies "Maude" and "Golden Girls," has died at age 86.

Never one to shy away from a controversial role, I was surprised to hear that she was shy in real life. Her commanding presence onstage and on screen certainly gives the opposite view.

She was first noticed as a guest on Archie Bunker, much to Archie's chagrin! I still remember when the door opened and "Maude" blew into our lives. The higher-ups at CBS were so impressed they didn't know her name, but knew they wanted Maude to have her own show. That's making an impression, all right.

In interview she was asked why she returned to Broadway in 2002, at the age of 78 with her own show, "Just Between Friends," which she did barefoot, by the way, after she fell onstage in Minneapolis, spraining her ankle. "Why don't you retire?" she was asked.

Her answer was, why should she retire from something she loves to do? She said that people retire from jobs they don't like. Fortunately for us, she loved her job.

What was your favorite Bea Arthur role? Maude, Golden Girls?

Mary Cunningham (Milkbone)



Regan Black said...

Bea Arthur was amazing in any role, but Golden Girls was probably my fave.


Mary Cunningham said...

"Dorothy" was my favorite, too. I loved the whole ensemble. They played so well off each other.

Still love the reruns!


Diana Black said...

Loved Bea in Golden Girls! She was my favorite "girl" though I loved them all...

But her role as Maude, because there was NO ONE like her on TV at the time, was brilliant, I thought.

And though in real life she was shy and soft-spoken, it was her feisty and gutsy characters that helped set the stage for how many women began to meet life head on.

Thank you, Bea Arthur, for your inspiration and humor.

One solid golden girl...


Mary Cunningham said...

Both "All In The Family" and "Maude" were ground-breaking when it came to sensitive issues. Have to credit Norman Lear for much of that, and the characters spot-on.



The Stiletto Gang said...

I liked her Dorothy character best and her interactions with her Golden Girls mother. She had a very distinctive voice. Bea Authur will be missed.

aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David

lindacassidylewis said...

I love the Golden Girls. I loved them when I was a young mother and now I love them as I get close to being one. Best assembled cast ever.

Anonymous said...

she had way of leting you know except where she stood and that she did not not take too much from anybody. I think she did alot for the females

Mary Cunningham said...

I think it's pretty unanimous that Dorothy was the favorite.

Thanks for your comments, Rhonda, Linda and Anonymous. She'll be missed for sure, and I agree, she did much for women and women's causes.

It was a super cast, one that won't be easily duplicated.


Gayle Carline said...

I may be the odd gal out, but I loved Maude. Dorothy was wonderful, too, but Maude appeared in my life when I was at a very impressionable crossroads. My mom wanted me to have babies and bake cookies, and Maude told me there was more that I could do. She told me proudly, tactlessly and without remorse. I needed that.


Mary Cunningham said...

That's why "Maude" was so popular, Gayle. She let us know that "conventional wisdom" wasn't right for every woman.

She show broke new grounds and made us all think about being responsibile and true to ourselves.