Beatrice Arthur, who is best known for her work on the hit TV show The Golden Girls, has died at her home of cancer at the age of 86. This is the second Golden Girl that we’ve lost in a considerably short amount of time — Estelle Getty passed away back in July.
In her time as a Golden Girl, Arthur played the role of Dorothy, who was also the daughter of Getty’s character. The show ran an impressive 180 episodes long from 1985 to 1992. Arthur is also very well-known for her Maude character, which first showed up on All in the Family as Edith Bunker’s loud cousin. The character was so popular that a spin-off was created entitled Maude, which ran 141 episodes from 1972 to 1978.
At the start, Bea graced Broadway as an actress trained for the stage. She won a Tony for her part in Mame, a production also starring Angela Lansbury which was named Best Musical of 1966. She then appeared in a movie adaptation of the play, with Lucille Ball taking on the role that Lansbury played. She even appeared in Mel Brooks’ History of the World: Part 1.
Bea Arthur had a couple of jobs to warm all of our geek hearts, as well. In 1978, she appeared as Akmena in The Star Wars Holiday Special. And in one of her final performances, she played a Femputer on Futurama.
Interestingly enough, it seems a lot of actors in their later years offer up their voices for animated shows. One of Roy Scheider’s last shows was in an episode of Family Guy, which has also featured fellow Golden Girl Betty White.
Beatrice Arthur 1922 — 2009
[Source: LA Times]