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)