Posted on April 26, 2009
Bea Arthur has sadly passed away at the age of 86. Younger generations know the tall, wryly funny actress from her role as Dorothy Zbornak on the NBC television sitcom Golden Girls, but older TV fans also know her from her earlier sitcom Maude (a spin-off born from her riotous guest turn on All in the Family). However, despite all of the TV success she found in her later years, Bea Arthur actually made her name on the New York stage. Her first significant role was playing Lucy Brown in the 1954 Off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera. Her first show on Broadway was Plain and Fancy, but the parts she is best remembered for are Yente in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof and as Vera Charles in Mame (she was also in the film version of the latter musical). Bea Arthur won two Emmy Awards (and many more Emmy nominations) and a Tony Award for her work. She is survived by two sons and her grandchildren.