Golden Girl Bea Arthur Dies at 86

Obit ArthurWhat can I say about the star of the TV show I watch almost every night before sleep? That I’m glad she did that series, “The Golden Girls,” for seven seasons, because the reruns are inexhaustible? That just thinking about her playing Maude meeting new maid Florida (watch it as Today’s Video to the right of this posting) makes me chortle? That I completely understand what was said about her by musical-comedy writer/composer Jerry Herman? He said that to make people laugh “she didn’t need dialogue. I don’t know if I can say that about any other person I ever worked with.” If you haven’t guessed by now I’m talking about Beatrice Arthur — Maude on “Maude,” Dorothy on “The Golden Girls,” Vera Charles in “Mame,” and the original Yente in “Fiddler on the Roof.” If there were a Comedy Hall of Fame, Bea would be elected on the first ballot — by a Miami mile. Considering how many uproarious stories there were about her, Bea’s obituary in the New York Times is pretty dull. And I take extreme issue with the obituary writer’s characterization of her “Golden Girls” character as a “battle-axe.” She was tough and tart and compassionate and didn’t suffer fools: a battle veteran but not a battle-axe.

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