Happy Birthday Bea Arthur! May 13
Happy Birthday Bea Arthur! The legendary actress, known for her deep voice, razor sharp comic timing and charitable deeds passed away in 2009, leaving an unparalleled legacy of work on stage, screen and television.
Bea was an accomplished award winning actress; she nabbed the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Vera Charles in the original Broadway cast of Mame, later reprising the role for the film version costarring Lucille Ball. In 1977 she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, for Maude, the â€˜All in The Family’ spin off in which she starred. Bea also appeared in such projects as (the much lambasted) â€˜Star Wars Holiday Special’ and her own â€˜The Beatrice Arthur Special’ in 1980.
Of course, Bea found her biggest audience and most lasting fame as Dorothy Zbornak, in the now classic and much beloved NBC sitcom â€˜The Golden Girls’. Following that hilarious role, she made appearances on many shows including Futurama, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Malcolm in the Middle (for which she was nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actress Emmy). In 2002, Bea returned to the Great White Way with her acclaimed, Tony nominated one woman show â€˜Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends’
Arthur was an outspoken animal rights advocate, having joined People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in 1987. She campaigned tirelessly against the wearing of fur, the inhumane treatment of chickens by KFC suppliers, and the horrible suffering of birds used in the production of fois gras. After her death, it was learned that in her will, Ms. Arthur had bequeathed $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center, an organization that provides shelter for homeless GLBT youth in New York City. The Center has announced it will be naming a transitional residence for gay youth as â€˜The Bea Arthur Residence’ in her honor. (http://www.aliforneycenter.org/Bea/)
For all of her generosity and years of song and laughter, what else can be said but Happy Birthday, you are missed- and thank you for being a friend.
Some Bea Arthur Links
Golden Girls—Best of Dorothy Seasons 1/2
Mame: Bosom Buddies (Lucille Ball & Bea Arthur)
Maude theme song
Bea Arthur & Madame sing “A Good Man is Hard to Find” – 1980
Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson – Bea Arthur
SNIFF SWIG PUFF – BEA ARTHUR & ROCK HUDSON