|Beatrice Arthur dead at age 86 [message #174439]
||Sat, 25 April 2009 20:59
Registered: September 2012
Bea Arthur was a true 'Golden Girl'
Bea Arthur, who died Saturday at 86, was the winner of two Emmy Awards for
her starring roles on classic sitcoms "Maude" and "The Golden Girls." Before
becoming an unexpected TV star in the 1970s, Bea Arthur enjoyed a long and
celebrated career in the theater. She won a Tony Award for featured actress
in a musical in 1966 for the role of Vera Charles, bosom buddy to "Mame."
After a fallow few years, Arthur returned to TV in an unlikely hit -- "The
Golden Girls" -- which celebrated women of a certain age living together in
Miami. As the tart-tongued Dorothy, Arthur was a natural playing off against
on-screen roommates rambling Rose (Betty White) and bawdy Blanche (Rue
McClanahan) as well as her diminutive but domineering mother Sophia (Estelle
Getty). While Arthur earned Emmy nods in each of the first two seasons, she
lost first to White then to McClanahan.
It would not be until season three that Arthur would win that Emmy bookend.
With Getty also winning that night, the quartet joined "All in the Family"
in the Emmy record book as the only sitcoms with an entirely award-winning
cast. ("Will & Grace" would become the third such show when Debra Messing
finally won her Emmy in 2003.) Like Moore before her, Arthur decided to
leave this still red-hot sitcom after seven seasons. In the two-part finale,
Dorothy finally found true love and married.
Arthur guested the following year on the short-lived spinoff "The Golden
Palace" which had her three co-stars running a small hotel. Beyond that, she
seldom appeared on TV. In 2000, she competed in her final Emmy race for a
guest spot on "Malcolm in the Middle" but lost to Jean Smart who won the
first of two consecutive Emmys for "Frasier."
In later years, Arthur returned to her first love -- live theater -- and in
2002 came to New York with her one-woman show titled quite simply "Bea
Arthur on Broadway." She contended for the Tony Award for special theatrical
event but lost to Elaine Stritch, who was starring in her own solo show "At
Liberty." In one of those odd twists of theatrical fate, one of the many
stories recounted by Stritch was about her ill-fated audition for a role in
"The Golden Girls."
Below Bea and Angie recreate that classic moment from "Mame" when the dear
friends reveal what they truly think of each other as the two Broadway divas
belt out "Bosom Buddies" on the 1987 Tonycast.