Rest In Peace, Bea…

I’ve been waiting to write this post because 1. I was really upset and 2. I really wanted to make sure people understood why it was such a big deal.

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur was well-known by my generation mostly for playing Dorothy Zbornak on the Golden Girls.  This was a fantastic role and it has been said many times, and by many people, that she loved the role.  (Fun Fact:  Estelle Getty who played her mother Sophia was actually younger that Bea, and Betty White is even older than both of them.) She even won an Emmy for it, but this is not the only thing that made Bea the entertainer she was.

Bea started her career in entertainment on the stage.  She was in the original Fiddler on the Roof and Mame on Broadway.  She won a Tony for her role in Mame and eventually starred with Lucille Ball in the movie version.

Despite this success it was not until she had a guest starring role on the show All in the Family playing Edith’s cousin Maude did she start to get some mainstream recognition.  This guest spot earned itself a spin off into the television show Maude.  Maude was an outspoken feminist liberal.  For the 1970s it dealt with some pretty heavy topics ranging from politics to drug use.  Most well-known perhaps, and why Bea won an Emmy, was a controversial episode on abortion.  It aired just two months before the Roe v. Wade decision was made.  (This episode also starred Bea’s soon to be co-star Rue McClanahan)

Bea was also a tireless supporter of PETA and animal rights.  She spoke out about wearing fur on the Golden Girls and even spoke out against KFC.  This passion is also how she met and became friends with Pamela Anderson.  (It also explains why she was at her Comedy Central Roast)

She will be missed terribly.  And yes I started crying while watching this last clip…

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~ by katoque on April 27, 2009.

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