Bea Arthur

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Bea Arthur
Beatrice Arthur - 1973.jpg
Bea Arthur as Maude in 1973.
Born
Bernice Frankel

(1922-05-13)May 13, 1922
DiedApril 25, 2009(2009-04-25) (aged 86)
Alma mater Linden Hall School for Girls
Blackstone College for Girls
Franklin Institute
The New School
OccupationActress, comedienne, singer, activist
Years active1947–2008
Spouse(s)
Robert Alan Aurthur
(m. 1947;div. 1950)

Gene Saks
(m. 1950;div. 1978)
Children2
Parent(s)
  • Rebecca Pressner
  • Philip Frankel
Military career
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Service/branchFlag of the United States Marine Corps.svg  United States Marine Corps
Years of service1942–1944
Rank Staff Sergeant
Unit United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve
Battles/wars World War II

Beatrice Arthur (born Bernice Frankel; May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009) was an American actress, comedienne, and animal rights activist.

Contents

Arthur began her career on stage in 1947 and made her Broadway debut in The Threepenny Opera in 1954. She won the 1966 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Vera Charles in Mame . She went on to play Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcoms All in the Family (1971–72) and Maude (1972–78), and Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls (1985–92), winning Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1977 and 1988. Her film appearances included Lovers and Other Strangers (1970) and Mame (1974). In 2002, she starred in the one-woman show Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends.

<i>The Threepenny Opera</i> 1928 musical play by Bertolt Brecht; provides a socialist critique of capitalism; adapted from John Gays 18th-century ballad opera The Beggars Opera with music by Kurt Weill and insertion ballads by François Villon and Rudyard Kipling

The Threepenny Opera is a "play with music" by Bertolt Brecht, adapted from a translation by Elisabeth Hauptmann of John Gay's 18th-century English ballad opera, The Beggar's Opera, and four ballads by François Villon, with music by Kurt Weill. Although there is debate as to how much, if any, Hauptmann might have contributed to the text, Brecht is usually listed as sole author.

The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical has been presented since 1950. The award was not given at the first three Tony Award ceremonies. Nominees were not announced publicly until 1956.

<i>Mame</i> (musical) musical

Mame is a musical with the book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Originally titled My Best Girl, it is based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis and a 1956 Broadway play, by Lawrence and Lee, that starred Rosalind Russell. Set in New York City and spanning the Great Depression and World War II, it focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis, whose famous motto is "Life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death." Her fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when the young son of her late brother arrives to live with her. They cope with the Depression in a series of adventures.

Early life

Beatrice Arthur was born Bernice Frankel on May 13, 1922, to Rebecca (née Pressner; 1895–1985, born in Austria) and Philip Frankel (1885–1973, born in Poland) in Brooklyn, New York. [1] [2] Arthur was raised in a Jewish home with sisters Gertrude and Marian.

American Jews, or Jewish Americans, are Americans who are Jews, whether by religion, ethnicity or nationality. The current Jewish community in the United States consists primarily of Ashkenazi Jews, who descend from diaspora Jewish populations of Central and Eastern Europe and comprise about 90-95% of the American Jewish population. Most American Ashkenazim are US-born, with a dwindling number of now elderly earlier immigrants, as well as some more recent foreign-born immigrants.

In 1933, the Frankel family relocated to Cambridge, Maryland, where her parents subsequently operated a women's clothing shop. At age 16, Frankel developed a serious condition called Coagulopathy, in which her blood would not clot. [3] Concerned for her health, her parents decided to send her to Linden Hall School for Girls, an all-girls' boarding school in Lititz, Pennsylvania, for her final two years of high school. [3] Afterwards she studied for a year at Blackstone College for Girls in Blackstone, Virginia. [4]

Cambridge, Maryland City in Maryland, United States

Cambridge is a city in Dorchester County, Maryland, United States. The population was 12,326 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Dorchester County and the county's largest municipality. Cambridge is the fourth most populous city in Maryland's Eastern Shore region, after Salisbury, Elkton and Easton.

Coagulopathy is a condition in which the blood’s ability to coagulate is impaired. This condition can cause a tendency toward prolonged or excessive bleeding, which may occur spontaneously or following an injury or medical and dental procedures. Of note, coagulopathies are sometimes erroneously referred to as "clotting disorders"; a clotting disorder is a predisposition to clot formation (thrombus), also known as a hypercoagulable state or thrombophilia.

Linden Hall is an independent boarding school and day for girls in grades 6-12 located in Lititz, Pennsylvania. The school was founded in 1746 and is the oldest girls' boarding and day school in continuous operation in the United States.

During World War II, she worked as a truck driver and typist in the United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve, receiving an Honorable Discharge in September 1944 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. [5] [6] [7] [8]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

United States Marine Corps Womens Reserve organization

United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve (Reserve) was the World War II women's branch of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. It was authorized by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on 30 July 1942. The law provided that members of the Reserve could be commissioned or enlisted in such ranks and ratings equal to the regular Marine Corps; effective for the duration of the war plus six months. Its purpose was to release officers and men for combat and to replace them with women in U.S. shore stations. Ruth Cheney Streeter was appointed the first director of the Reserve. She was sworn in with the rank of major and later promoted to a full colonel. The Reserve did not have an official nickname, as did the other World War II women's military services, although many unofficial and uncomplimentary nicknames were used to describe its members. One of the crudest may have been BAMS, Broad Assed Marines.

After serving in the Marines, Frankel studied for a year at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, where she became a licensed medical technician. [3] [9] After interning at a local hospital for the summer, Frankel decided against working as a lab technician, departing for New York City in 1947 to enroll in the School of Drama at The New School. [3]

Franklin Institute Science museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Franklin Institute is a science museum and the center of science education and research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is named after the American scientist and statesman, Benjamin Franklin, and houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. Founded in 1824, the Franklin Institute is one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States.

Advanced emergency medical technician (AEMT) is provider of prehospital emergency medical services in the United States. A transition to this level of training from the Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate (EMT-I), which had somewhat less training, began in 2013 and has been implemented by most states at this point. The AEMT is not intended to deliver definitive medical care in most cases, but rather to augment prehospital critical care and provide rapid on-scene treatment. AEMTs are most usually employed in ambulance services, working in conjunction with EMTs and paramedics, however are also commonly found in fire departments and law enforcement agencies as non-transporting first responders. Ambulances operating at the AEMT level of care are commonplace in rural areas, and occasionally found in larger cities as part of a tiered-response system, but are overall much less common than EMT and Paramedic level Ambulances. The AEMT provides a low-cost, high-benefit option to provide advanced-level care when the paramedic level of care is not feasible. The AEMT is authorized to provide limited advanced life support, which is beyond the scope of an EMT.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, often called New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in both the state of New York and the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Career

Theater

1943 United States Marine Corps identification card photo U.S. Marine Corps portrait of Beatrice Arthur.jpg
1943 United States Marine Corps identification card photo

From 1947, Arthur studied at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York, N.Y. with German director Erwin Piscator. Arthur began her acting career as a member of an off-Broadway theater group at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City in the late 1940s. On stage, her roles included Lucy Brown in the 1954 Off-Broadway premiere of Marc Blitzstein's English-language adaptation of Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera , Nadine Fesser in the 1957 premiere of Herman Wouk's Nature's Way at the Coronet Theatre, Yente the Matchmaker in the 1964 premiere of Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.

Dramatic Workshop was the name of a drama and acting school associated with the New School for Social Research in New York City. It was launched in 1940 by German expatriate stage director Erwin Piscator. Among the faculty were Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler, among the students Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau, Tennessee Williams and Elaine Stritch. The Dramatic Workshop considerably contributed to the resurgence of the Off-Broadway theatre.

The New School university in New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village

The New School is a private non-profit research university centered in Manhattan, New York City, located mostly in Greenwich Village. It was founded in 1919 as The New School for Social Research with an original mission dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry and a home for progressive thinkers. Since then, the school has grown to house five divisions within the university. These include the Parsons School of Design, the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School for Social Research, the Schools of Public Engagement, the College of Performing Arts which consists of the Mannes School of Music, the School of Drama, and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. In addition, the university maintains the Parsons Paris campus and has also launched or housed a range of institutions, such as the international research institute World Policy Institute, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the India China Institute, the Observatory on Latin America, and the Center for New York City Affairs.

Erwin Piscator German theatre director

Erwin Friedrich Maximilian Piscator was a German theatre director and producer and, along with Bertolt Brecht, the foremost exponent of epic theatre, a form that emphasizes the socio-political content of drama, rather than its emotional manipulation of the audience or the production's formal beauty.

In 1966, Arthur auditioned for the title role in the musical Mame , which her husband Gene Saks was set to direct, but Angela Lansbury won the role instead. [3] Arthur accepted the supporting role of Vera Charles, for which she won great acclaim, winning a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical the same year. She reprised the role in the unsuccessful 1974 film version opposite Lucille Ball. In 1981, she appeared in Woody Allen's The Floating Light Bulb . [10]

She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1994 portraying the Duchess of Krakenthorp, a speaking role, in Gaetano Donizetti's La fille du régiment . [11]

Television

In 1971, Arthur was invited by Norman Lear to guest-star on his sitcom All in the Family , as Maude Findlay, the cousin of Edith Bunker. An outspoken liberal feminist, Maude was the antithesis role to the conservative Republican character Archie Bunker, who described her as a "New Deal fanatic". Nearly 50, Arthur's tart turn on All in the Family impressed viewers as well as executives at CBS who, she would later recall, asked "'Who is that girl? Let's give her her own series.'" [12]

That series, previewed in her second All in the Family appearance, would be simply titled "Maude". The show, debuting in 1972, found her living in the affluent community of Tuckahoe, Westchester County, New York, with her fourth husband Walter (Bill Macy) and divorced daughter Carol (Adrienne Barbeau). Her performance in the role garnered Arthur several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, including her Emmy win in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Maude would also earn a place for Arthur in the history of the women's liberation movement. [13]

The series addressed serious sociopolitical topics of the era that were considered taboo for a sitcom, including the Vietnam War, the Nixon Administration, Maude's bid for a Congressional seat, divorce, menopause, drug use, alcoholism, nervous breakdown, mental illness, women's lib, gay rights, abortion, and spousal abuse. A prime example is "Maude's Dilemma", a two-part episode airing near Thanksgiving of 1972 in which Maude's character grapples with a late-life pregnancy, ultimately deciding to have an abortion. [14] Even though abortion was legal in New York State since 1970, as well as in California since its state's 1969 on-demand ruling, it was illegal in many other regions of the country and, as such, sparked controversy. As a result, dozens of affiliates refused to broadcast the episode when it was originally scheduled, substituting either a repeat from earlier in the season or a Thanksgiving TV special in its place. However, by the time of the summer rerun season six months later all the flak had died down, and the stations that refused to air the episode upon its first run reinstated it for the reruns the following summer. As a result, a reported 65 million viewers watched the two episode arc either in their first run that November or during the following summer as a rerun. [15] The episode initially aired two months before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the procedure nationwide in the Roe v. Wade outcome in January 1973. [16]

By 1978, however, Arthur decided to move on from the series. Later the same year (1978), she costarred in Star Wars Holiday Special , in which she had a song and dance routine in the Mos Eisley cantina. She hosted The Beatrice Arthur Special on CBS on January 19, 1980, which paired the star in a musical comedy revue with Rock Hudson, Melba Moore and Wayland Flowers and Madame. [17]

Arthur returned to television in the short-lived 1983 sitcom Amanda's (an adaptation of the British series Fawlty Towers ). Unfortunately, the show was a not a hit with audiences and only 10 of the 13 filmed episodes actually aired.

In 1985, Arthur was cast in The Golden Girls , in which she played Dorothy Zbornak, a divorced substitute teacher living in a Miami house owned by widow Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan). Her other roommates included widow Rose Nylund (Betty White) and Dorothy's Sicilian mother, Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty). Getty was actually a year younger than Arthur in real life. The series was a hit, and remained a top-ten ratings fixture for six of its seven seasons. Her performance led to several Emmy nominations over the course of the series and an Emmy win in 1988. Arthur decided to leave the show after seven years, and in 1992 the show was moved from NBC to CBS and retooled as The Golden Palace in which the other three actresses reprised their roles, with Cheech Marin as their new foil. Arthur made a guest appearance in a two-part episode, but the new series lasted only one season. [18] [19]

Film

Bea Arthur as Maude, circa 1973 Maude Bea Arthur 1973.jpg
Bea Arthur as Maude, circa 1973

Arthur sporadically appeared in films, reprising her stage role as Vera Charles in the 1974 film adaption of Mame , opposite Lucille Ball. She portrayed overbearing mother Bea Vecchio in Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), and had a cameo as a Roman unemployment clerk in Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I (1981). She appeared in the 1995 American movie For Better or Worse as Beverly Makeshift. [20] [ citation needed ]

Later career

After Arthur left The Golden Girls, she made several guest appearances on television shows and organized and toured in her one-woman show, alternately titled An Evening with Bea Arthur as well as And Then There's Bea. [21] She made a guest appearance on the American cartoon Futurama , in the Emmy-nominated 2001 episode "Amazon Women in the Mood", as the voice of the "Femputer" who ruled the giant Amazonian women. [22] She appeared in a first-season episode of Malcolm in the Middle as Mrs. White, one of Dewey's babysitters. [23] [24] She was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance. [25] She also appeared as Larry David's mother on Curb Your Enthusiasm . [26]

In 2002, she returned to Broadway, starring in Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends, a collection of stories and songs (with musician Billy Goldenberg) based on her life and career. [27] The show was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. [28]

In addition to appearing in a number of programs looking back at her own work, Arthur performed in stage and television tributes for Jerry Herman, Bob Hope, Ellen DeGeneres. In 2004, she appeared in Richard Barone's "There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee" at the Hollywood Bowl, performing "Johnny Guitar" and "The Shining Sea". In 2005, she participated in the Comedy Central roast of Pamela Anderson, where she recited sexually explicit passages from Anderson's book Star Struck in a deadpan fashion. [29]

Influences

In 1999, Arthur told an interviewer of the three influences in her career: "Sid Caesar taught me the outrageous; [method acting guru] Lee Strasberg taught me what I call reality; and [original Threepenny Opera star] Lotte Lenya, whom I adored, taught me economy." [30] Another source of influence to Arthur, was that of famed actress/director Ida Lupino whom Arthur praised as, "My dream was to become a very small blonde movie star like Ida Lupino and those other women I saw up there on the screen during the Depression. [31] "

Personal life

Arthur was married twice. Her first marriage took place during her time in the military, when she married fellow Marine Robert Alan Aurthur, [5] later a screenwriter, television, and film producer and director, whose surname she took and kept (though with a modified spelling). Shortly after they divorced in 1950, she married director Gene Saks with whom she adopted two sons, Matthew (born in 1961), an actor, and Daniel (born in 1964), a set designer; they remained married until 1978. [32]

In 1972, she moved to Los Angeles and sublet her apartment on Central Park West in New York City and her country home in Bedford, New York. [33] In a 2003 interview, in London promoting her one-woman show, she described the British capital as her "favourite city in the world". [34]

Arthur was a committed animal rights activist and frequently supported People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals campaigns. Arthur joined PETA in 1987 after a Golden Girls anti-fur episode. Arthur wrote letters, made personal appearances and placed ads against the use of furs, foie gras, and farm animal cruelty by KFC suppliers. In Norfolk, Virginia, near the site of the PETA headquarters, there is a dog park named the Bea Arthur Dog Park in her honor. [35]

Arthur was a longtime champion of equal rights for women and an active advocate of the elderly, and Jewish communities, in both her major television roles and through her charity work and personal outspokenness. [36]

Regarding politics, Arthur herself was a liberal Democrat who confirmed her views by saying, "I've been a Democrat my whole life. That's what makes Maude and Dorothy so believable, we have the same viewpoints on how our country should be handled." [37]

Arthur was also a mentor, surrogate mother and friend to Adrienne Barbeau, who co-starred opposite Arthur on Maude for six seasons. While Barbeau was unavailable for the last two seasons due to her schedule, they remained close and stayed in touch until Arthur's passing. About her relationship with Arthur, Barbeau said in a 2018 interview with Dread Central.com, "I was doing an interview for this one-woman show that I am doing and the interviewer asked, 'What do people usually ask you,' and I said, 'They always want to know what it was like working with Bea.' She was fantastic and, you know, I realized years later how much I took it for granted because it was my first experience on television. I just assumed that everyone was as giving as she was, as professional as she was, that everyone who was doing a TV show showed up knowing their lines and showed up on time and was willing to say to the writers, 'I think this line was funnier if Adie had said it or Conrad had said it or Bill had said it.' I mean, she was just the best, she was the best, very funny. She was not Maude when she wasn't saying those lines. I don't know if I'd say she was quiet. She was a homebody. She had her sons, her dog and her cooking and she wasn't into the celebrity scene and she was a great lady. I loved her dearly and we had a great cast and they were my family for six years. I loved each of them and all of them and it was the best experience anyone could've had, being introduced to television like that!" [38]

Death and legacy

A private and introverted woman, according to her friends, [39] Arthur died of cancer at her home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles on April 25, 2009. She was two and a half weeks short of her 87th birthday. [40] She was survived by her two sons and two granddaughters. [30] [41] [42]

On April 28, 2009, the Broadway community paid tribute to Arthur by dimming the marquees of New York City's Broadway theater district in her memory for one minute at 8:00 p.m. [43] On September 16, 2009, a public tribute to Arthur was held at the Majestic Theatre in Manhattan, where friends and colleagues including Angela Lansbury, Norman Lear, Rosie O'Donnell and Rue McClanahan paid tribute to the actress. [44]

Arthur's co-stars from The Golden Girls, Rue McClanahan and Betty White, commented on her death via telephone on an April 27 episode of Larry King Live . On the Today Show by phone, McClanahan said she and Arthur got along together "like cream." White said, "I knew it would hurt, I just didn't know it would hurt this much." [45] [46]

Longtime friends Adrienne Barbeau (with whom she had worked on Maude) and Angela Lansbury (with whom she had worked in Mame ) reflected on her death. Barbeau said, "We've lost a unique, incredible talent. No one could deliver a line or hold a take like Bea and no one was more generous or giving to her fellow performers". [47] Lansbury said, "She became and has remained my bosom buddy [...] I am deeply saddened by her passing, but also relieved that she is released from the pain". [48]

Arthur bequeathed $300,000 to the Ali Forney Center, a New York City organization that provides housing for homeless LGBT youths. [49] [50] The center was heavily damaged in October 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, [51] [52] but has since been restored and re-opened. [53] The Bea Arthur Residence, which opened in 2017, is an 18-bed residence in Manhattan for homeless LGBT youth operated by the Ali Forney Center. [54] [55]

Awards

Arthur (left) at the 1989 Emmy Awards with close friend Angela Lansbury (right) Bea Arthur & Angela Lansbury (211193459).jpg
Arthur (left) at the 1989 Emmy Awards with close friend Angela Lansbury (right)

Arthur won the American Theatre Wing's Tony Award in 1966 as Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance that year as Vera Charles in the original Broadway production of Jerry Herman's musical Mame . [56]

Arthur received the third most nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series with nine; only Julia Louis-Dreyfus (11) and Mary Tyler Moore (10) have more. She received the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series twice, once in 1977 for Maude and again in 1988 for The Golden Girls. [57] She was inducted into the Academy's Television Hall of Fame in 2008. [58]

On June 8, 2008, The Golden Girls was awarded the Pop Culture award at the Sixth Annual TV Land Awards. Arthur (in one of her final public appearances) accepted the award with McClanahan and White. [59]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1959 That Kind of Woman WACUncredited
1970 Lovers and Other Strangers Bea Vecchio
1974 Mame Vera Charles
1981 History of the World, Part I Dole office clerkUncredited
1995 For Better or Worse Beverly Makeshift
2000Enemies of LaughterPaul's Mother

Television

YearFilmRoleNotes
1951–58 Kraft Television Theatre
1951 Once Upon a Tune
1951–53, 1955–58 Studio One in Hollywood
1955 Max Liebman Presents: Kaleidoscope
1954–56 Caesar's Hour Regular performer
1957Washington Square2 episodes
The Steve Allen Show
1958 The Seven Lively Arts
Tonight Starring Jack Paar
Omnibus
The Gift of the Magi
1959 The George Gobel Show
1960The Best of AnythingTelevision film
1961 The Perry Como Show
1962 The Garry Moore Show
1963 The Sid Caesar Show
1971–72 All in the Family Maude Findlay2 episodes
1972–78 Maude 141 episodes
1973 The 45th Annual Academy Awards
1974 The 28th Annual Tony Awards
1974–80 The Mike Douglas Show 6 episodes
1974–85 The Merv Griffin Show 3 episodes
1974–90 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 8 episodes
1975–80 Dinah! 5 episodes
1976–79 Saturday Night Live 2 episodes
1976 Cos Herself
1977 The 31st Annual Tony Awards
The 29th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Laugh-In
1978CBS: On the Air
The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Star Wars Holiday Special AckmenaTelevision film
1979 The Mary Tyler Moore Hour HerselfEpisode #1.2
1980 The Beatrice Arthur Special Herself (Host / Performer)Television special
30 Years of TV Comedy's Greatest Hits: To Laughter with Love
Soap AngelEpisode: "Jessica's Wonderful Life"
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope-Hope, Women and Song
1981Omnibus
The 35th Annual Tony Awards
The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
1982 Bob Hope's Women I Love: Beautiful But Funny
Nights of 100 Stars
Broadway Plays Washington on Kennedy Center Tonight
1983 Amanda's Amanda Cartwright13 episodes
The 9th Annual People's Choice Awards
1984 The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Joan Collins
The 1st Academy TV Hall of Fame
a.k.a. Pablo Press AgentEpisode: "My Son, the Gringo"
P.O.P.Rosalyn GordonTelevision film
1985–92 The Golden Girls Dorothy Zbornak 180 episodes
1985The NBC All Star Hour
The 37th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
The 10th Circus of the Stars
The 40th Annual Tony Awards
1985–2008 Entertainment Tonight Herself7 episodes
1986All Star Party for Clint Eastwood
The 38th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
NBC 60th Anniversary Celebration
The 43rd Annual Golden Globe Awards
Walt Disney World's 15th Birthday Celebration
Late Night with David Letterman
The 46th Annual Golden Apple Awards
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts
1987 The 39th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
All Star Party for Joan Collins
Comic Relief '87
All Star Gala at Ford's TheaterHost
The 1st Annual American Comedy Awards
The 44th Annual Golden Globe Awards
The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards
This Is Your Life
Happy 100th Birthday Hollywood
Sally Jessy Raphael Show
The 41st Annual Tony Awards
Family Comedy Hour
1988The 9th Annual American Black Achievement Awards
The 45th Annual Golden Globe Awards
In Performance at the White House; A Salute to Broadway: Showstoppers
Irving Berlin's 100th Birthday Celebration
The 40th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Mickey's 60th Birthday Dorothy Zbornak
The 13th Circus of the Stars
My First Love Jean MillerTelevision movie
1989 The 46th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Empty Nest Dorothy ZbornakEpisode: "Dumped"
The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards
Bob Hope's Birthday Spectacular in Paris
The Society of Singers Presents a Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
The 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Later with Bob Costas
The Arsenio Hall Show
The 49th Annual Golden Apple Awards
Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
1990The TV Academy Tribute to Angela Lansbury
The 21st BAFTA Awards
The 4th Annual American Comedy Awards
The Earth Day Special
Aspel & Company
Night of 100 Stars III
The 42nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Des O'Connor Tonight
A Conversation with Dinah
Live from the London Palladium: Happy Birthday, Happy New Year!
1991The 17th Annual People Choice Awards
The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards
The 5th Annual American Comedy Awards
The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
Funny Women of Television
Dame Edna's Hollywood
1992 Evening at Pops
The Howard Stern Show
Guest Night
The 6th Annual American Comedy Awards
The Golden Palace Dorothy HollingsworthEpisodes: "Seems Like Old Times" (Parts 1 & 2)
Verstehen Sie Spaß?
The 1992 Pacific Center HIV-AIDS Benefit
1993The 7th Annual American Comedy Awards
Out There
This Joint is Jumpin'
The 47th Annual Tony Awards
Boulevard Bio
Sean's Show
1994Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood BowlHerself (Performer)Television special
The 8th Annual American Comedy Awards
Bob Hope's Birthday Memories
She TV
1995The 9th Annual Genesis Awards
50 Years of Funny Females
This Morning [ citation needed ]
1996The 10th American Comedy Awards
The 50th Annual Tony Awards
1997 Dave's World Mel Bloom3 episodes
The Rosie O'Donnell Show
1998 The RuPaul Show
Ellen HerselfEpisode: "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute: Part 1"
CBS: The First 50 Years
NY TV: By the People Who Made It-Part I & II
1999The 53rd Annual Tony Awards
Beggars and Choosers Herself5 episodes
Emily of New Moon The VoiceEpisode: "A Fall from Grace"
The Martin Short Show
2000 So Graham Norton
Malcolm in the Middle Mrs. WhiteEpisode: "Water Park"
Intimate Portrait: Rue McClanahan
E! True Hollywood Story: The Golden Girls
E! True Hollywood Story: Good Times
E! True Hollywood Story: All in the Family
The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television
2001Intimate Portrait: Estelle Getty
Futurama FemputerEpisode: "Amazon Women in the Mood"
Today
2002–07 The View Herself / Guest2 episodes
2002 CBS News Sunday Morning
The Rosie O'Donnell Show
Good Morning America
The Daily Show
The Big O! True West Hollywood Story
TV Most Censored Moments
TV Tales: The Golden Girls
Open Mike with Mike Bullard
Because I Said So
Inside TV Land: Taboo TV
2003Great Women on Television Comedy
Intimate Portrait: Bea Arthur
TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV
Rove Live
Broadway: The Golden Age by the Legends Who Were There
Through the Keyhole
The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments Herself (Host)Television special
Today with Des and Mel
Richard & Judy
The Terry and Gaby Show
2004The 2nd Annual TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV
Great Performances
The Best of So Graham Norton
Inside TV Land: Primetime Politics
TV's Greatest Sidekicks
2005Inside TV Land: Tickled Pink
Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson
TV Land Confidential
Curb Your Enthusiasm Larry's motherEpisode: "The End"
2006Biography: Bea Arthur
The 100 Greatest TV Quotes & CatchphrasesHerself5 episodes
2007TV Land ConfidentialHerself / IntervieweeDocumentary (4 episodes)
Back to the GrindHerselfBea Arthur and Ed Begley Jr.
Entertainment Weekly & TV Land Present: The 50 Greatest TV Icons
2008The 6th Annual TV Land Awards HerselfWinner
Inside Edition Documentary
2014Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age

Theater performances

YearTitleRoleNotes
1947 Lysistrata
1947Gas
1947The Dog Beneath the Skin
1947Yerma
1948 No Exit
1948 The Taming of the Shrew Katherina
1948 Six Characters in Search of an Author
1948The Owl and the Pussycat
1949Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
1949Yes is for a Very Young Man
1949The Creditors
1949 Heartbreak House
1951 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
1951Personal Appearance
1951Candle Light
1951Love or Money
1951 The Voice of the Turtle
1951Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
1953 The New Moon
1954–55 The Threepenny Opera Lucy Brown
1955What's the Rush?
1955Shoestring Revue
1955 Plain and Fancy
1955Seventh Heaven
1956Mistress of the Inn
1956 Ziegfeld Follies
1956Shoestring '57
1957Hamlet
1957Nature's Way
1958Ulysses in Nighttown
1959Chic
1960The Gay Divorcee at the Cherry Lane
1962A Matter of Position
1964 Fiddler on the Roof Yenta the Matchmaker
1966 Mame Vera CharlesWon Tony Award-Featured Actress in a Musical
1968A Mother's KissesClosed on the road
1981The Floating Lightbulb
1981Hey, Look Me Over!
1994Easter Bonnet Competition: A Salute to 100 Years of Broadway
1994La Fille du Regiment
1995–96Bermuda Avenue Triangle
November 17, 1996Angela Lansbury – A CelebrationBenefit concert
1997–98After Play
1998Jubilee
1999Thoroughly Modern Millie
2000 Strike Up the Band
2000The Threepenny Opera Reunion Concert
2000–2006An Evening with Bea ArthurWestport, Connecticut (July 28–30, 2000)

Santa Fe, New Mexico (September 24, 2002)
Los Angeles, California (January 31 – February 1, 2004)
Saugatuck, Michigan (May 22–23, 2004)
Provincetown, Massachusetts (August 21, 2004)
Columbus, Georgia (October 30, 2004)
Nyack, New York (March 4–6, 2005)
Fort Wayne, Indiana (April 17, 2005)
Mount Pleasant, Michigan (April 19, 2005)
Atlantic City, New Jersey (June 3–4, 2005)
Holmdel, New Jersey (June 7, 2005)
Las Vegas, Nevada (August 27, 2005)
Hampton, Virginia (September 16–17, 2005)
Alexandria, Virginia (September 22, 2005)
Geneva, New York (September 24, 2005)
San Francisco, California (January 7, 2006)
Salem, Oregon (January 21, 2006)
Scottsdale, Arizona (February 24–25, 2006)
University Park, Illinois (March 19, 2006)

2001–2003And Then There's BeaUnited States Tour (April 24, 2001 – January 13, 2002)

Melbourne, Australia (October 15–27, 2002)
Sydney, Australia (October 29 – November 10, 2002)
Johannesburg, South Africa (August 12–24, 2003)
Cape Town, South Africa (August 26 – September 7, 2003)

2002Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between FriendsNew York, New York (January 29, 2002 – April 14, 2002)

Toronto, Canada (November 20 – December 8, 2002)

2003Bea Arthur at The SavoyLondon, England (September 15 – October 18, 2003)
2004A Celebration of LifeWashington, D.C. (May 26, 2004)
2004There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Leeat the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California (July 14, 2004)
2004Bea Arthur at the El PortalNorth Hollywood, California (August 5–8, 2004)
2005Bea Arthur Back on Broadway (at 95th Street)New York, New York (November 21, 2005)
2006Bea Arthur Back at the El PortalNorth Hollywood, California (February 16–19, 2006)

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