And Then There Were Two.
Bea Arthur was a true legend. The American comedienne, actress, and singer had a career spanning seven decades of Broadway, film and television. Yesterday, she passed on after losing her long fight with cancer. She was 86.
Armed with a signature low voice and acidic wit, Arthur turned those skills into a blessing when she broke through alongside Angela Lansbury in the original production of “Mame” on Broadway in 1966.
In the 70’s she turned a guest starring spot on CBS’ “All in the Family” into her own spin-off “Maude” which ran for six seasons and scored the actress five Emmy nominations (and one win).
It was in the mid-80’s though that she starred in a work that will be long remembered by my generation – “The Golden Girls”. Running for seven years, the sharply-penned multi-Emmy winning show made full use of Arthur’s impeccable skills of comic timing and delivery.
While the other three ‘girls’ were charicatures (the slut, the idiot, the cranky old biddy), Arthur was the dry and cynical balance in the middle of it all, and she could give a withering silent stare that spoke volumes and induced gales of laughter.
Last year we lost the first of the ‘girls’ Estelle Getty, and now Arthur. The pair’s mother-daughter relationship on the show was one of the great comedic duos of the small screen and thankfully we will always have that to remember them by.
To her family, friends and countless fans – our sincerest condolences. There’s plenty of clips of her work online which I’ve looked over today to remind myself and considered including, but it’s her doing an almost melancholy rendition of “What’ll I Do” that’s stuck with me the most.
Bea… thank you for being a friend.