Saturday, April 25, 2009

RIP Bea Arthur

My favorite Golden Girl, Bea Arthur, died at her home in Los Angeles today after a battle with cancer. She was 86.

Best known for playing Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcom Maude, and Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls, the Emmy Award-winning actress became quite the pop culture phenomenon in the last decade. The witty, husky-voiced Arthur also appeared in countless Broadway productions, including Mame, in which she won a Tony Award in 1966 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Vera Charles.

As a child of the '80s, I love her best as the Dorothy Zbornak (aka Dorothy Petrillo). She was quick and curt at times, especially with her ex-husband Stan or with Rose when she had some silly story about St. Olaf. But she was definitely heeeelarious. Remember when her mother Sophia (RIP Estelle Getty) would call her "Pussycat?"

My earliest memories are of watching the show are with my sister and my maternal grandma, while staying at my grandparents' house on Hammond Lake in West Bloomfield, Michigan in the summertime. Maybe it was the older woman/grandmotherly thing that kind of made us bond together, I don't know. All I know is that we had fun and Bea Arthur was a part of it.

"I'm not playing a role. I'm being myself, whatever the hell that is."
-- Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur, thank you for being a friend.

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