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Bea Arthur was an Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress who starred in the television shows Maude and The Golden Girls.
Bea Arthur - 10 Questions (2:23)
Bea Arthur - Mini Biography (1:45)
Betty White - Mini Biography (3:28)
For Bea Arthur, it all changed when she was offered a job on the show All In The Family. The show began her career as a woman not afraid to talk about controversial issues such as abortion.
When Bea Arthur was young she began acting on stage. Audiences loved her, and she quickly found herself infected with love for comedy and the stage. Arthur is best known, however, as a star in two hit shows, The Golden Girls and Maude.
A short biography on Bea Arthur who started out on Broadway and then moved to the small screen with "Maude" and then to the ever popular hit show "Golden Girls."
Betty White is best known for her roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Golden Girls." She has appeared for decades on talk shows and game shows and spends her free time advocating for animals.
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Bea Arthur was born on May 16, 1922, in New York City. A Tony Award-winning actress, she appeared on All the in Family, and her character Maude received a spin-off show which dealt with topics like women's rights and abortion. In 1985, Arthur starred in The Golden Girls, one of the few series to feature a cast of actresses over the age of 40. Arthur died in 2009.
"Look - I'm 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line. What can I do about it?... I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting."
Actress and comedienne Bea Arthur was born Bernice Frankel on May 13, 1922, in New York City. Known for her sharp wit, Arthur first attracted notice for her performance in the off-Broadway production of The Threepenny Opera in 1954. She continued to find success performing on stage. She originated the role of Yente the matchmaker in Fiddler on the Roof in 1964. Arthur even won the 1966 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Vera Charles in Mame. She reprised the role for the 1974 film version.
A guest appearance on All the in Family, Norman Lear's groundbreaking situation comedy led to Arthur's first television series. Audiences loved her character Maude Findlay, the outspoken liberal cousin of Edith Bunker. The spin-off series Maude ran for six seasons, starting in 1972. The show began with Maude moving to Washington, D.C., to serve as a member of Congress. With its strong female lead, it was a timely program, picking up on women's rights and issues of the era. The show didn't shy away from controversial topics, including abortion. The well-regarded comedy won Arthur her first Emmy Award in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She had been nominated three times for Maude before her big win.
It would be seven years until Bea Arthur found another smash television series. This time she played Dorothy Sbornak, a divorced older woman living with friends and looking after her mother on Golden Girls. Set in Miami, the comedy followed the lives, loves, and misadventures of these women. The ensemble included veteran performers Betty White and Rue McClanahan - who had worked with Arthur on Maude. Estelle Getty played Arthur's mother despite the fact that the two were around the same age. The show had the distinction of being one of the few series in television history to feature a cast of actresses over the age of 40.
A hit with television audiences, the cast of Golden Girls also garnered praise from critics and peers. During its seven-year run, all four stars won Emmy Awards for their work on the series. Arthur received the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1988. Although the show ended in 1992, it remains popular, being shown in syndication.
After Golden Girls ended, Arthur made a few guest appearances on television, including Malcolm in the Middle and Curb Your Enthusiasm. She also toured with her own one-woman show, And Then There's Bea in 2001. In 2002, she appeared in Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends, which earned her a Tony Award nomination for Special Theatrical Event.
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