Saturday, April 25, 2009


Beatrice Arthur was tall and talented, austere and imposing, with a voice like sandpaper on shale , but above all she was incredibly funny.

She could deliver a sarcastic line with the ballistic impact of a .44 Magnum.True in aim ,searing at penetration and devastating upon impact.

Today, at age 86 she lost a long and difficult battle with cancer.Ms.Arthur was born Beatrice Frankel in New York City in 1922, was twice married and adopted two sons.

Bea Arthur leaves a legacy of accomplishment that includes a powerful body of work that spans six decades on stage, screen and television. She is an Emmy and Tony recipient.

Senior video viewers will recall her as Sid Caesar's distaff, comic sidekick on NBC-TV'S production of CAESAR'S HOUR in the 1950's.They will remember her textured work on Broadway in THREE PENNY OPERA AND FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

To Baby-Boomers, Bea Arthur will always be the opinionated and outrageous MAUDE , breaking television's taboos on Norman Lear's spin-off of CBS-TV'S ALL IN THE FAMILY. She won a 1977 Emmy for her performance.

Ms. Arthur also won a Tony Award for her portrayal of 90 proof, society matron,Vera Charles in MAME on Broadway with Angela Lansberry. A role she took to the big screen, in the 1974, film version of MAME, starring Lucille Ball.

To Generation X , Bea Arthur was the sardonic and combustible Dorothy Sbornak, on Susan Harris's, exquisite, ensemble sitcom THE GOLDEN GIRLS. The sage sitcom about growing old with grace and giggles was long a Saturday night staple on NBC-TV.

Millennials have now discovered Bea Arthur as THE GOLDEN GIRLS has found new life and new audiences on cable and in syndication.

In the past few years, Ms. Arthur returned to Broadway in a tony-nominated, one-woman show,appeared as Larry David's Mother on HBO'S CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and did a comic turn on FOX'S MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE.

She also appeared as herself to do a hilarious, ribald reading on THE COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF PAMELA ANDERSON.

KINESCOPE HD venerates Bea Arthur's talent, celebrates her career and mourns her loss.

Posted, below, is a clip of her 2001 interview with the Archive of American Television.Enjoy!!!!!

Here is one of the most controversial episodes of CBS-TV's MAUDE series.
In this excerpt, 47 year old Maude Findlay discovers she is pregnant, and for the first time on Amercian,Prime Time television,the issue of abortion is at center stage in a situcation comedy.Enjoy!!!!!

In this clip, below, from NBC-TV's THE GOLDEN GIRLS, Ms. Arthur, and co-stars Rue McClanahan and Betty White ,confront the mechanics of sex among senior citizens by going to purchase condoms at the drug store.Notice that inventive and prolific comedy writer, Pat McCormick plays the store clerk. Enjoy!!!!!

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