BEA ARTHUR BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Bea Arthur was born on May 13th, 1922 in New York City, New York with the birth name Bernice Frankel. She was raised in Maryland where her parents made their living running a dress shop. By the age of twelve she was already 5'9" and was beginning to show an interest in working as a model and actress, however this was not a career choice she thought her parents would show an approval for.
She attended Linden Hall High School which was an all girls school in Lititz, Pennsylvania and then went on to college at Blackstone College for Girls where she first became active in a number of school drama productions.
Bea decided to listen to her parents and after college she found work as a laboratory technician. She also found work as a truck driver and a typist in the Marine Corps.
Upon completing working for the Marine Corps she approached her parents and shared with them her desire to work in show business. They agreed to help support her dream and she therefore enrolled in the New York's Dramatic Workshop for the New School for Social Research.
She began by mostly being trained in dramatic and classical roles before she realized her strength was working as a comedic actress. Her first stage role to really gain her any attention was in the musical, "The Three Penny Opera".
Soon she was offered her first television role in, "Caesar's Hour" (1954). Her next stage role that brought her to the attention of top critics was in the Broadway play, "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964). She then won a Tony for her role on another Broadway play called, "Mame" (1966).
Her career and popularity was reaching new levels and then she was offered a role as Maude Findlay on the hit sitcom, "All in the Family" (1971) which lead to her getting her own sitcom, "Maude" (1972). Some of her other more well known roles were in the television movie, "The Star Wars Holiday Special" (1978) and on the sitcom, "The Golden Girls" (1985) which lasted a total of seven seasons. She even won an Emmy for her role in the sitcom.
When Arthur felt that both sitcoms, Golden Girls and Maude had reached their level of success she notified producers that she was leaving the shows and therefore they were both cancelled knowing that neither would continue to be successful without her presence on them.
However, she did not retire from acting and continued to make a living appearing in a number of films such as, "For Better of Worse" (1995) and "Enemies of Laughter" (2000). She also appeared on a "Golden Girls" reunion special on the Lifetime Channel.
She married twice, first briefly to a man by the name of Robert Alan Arthur and then that marriage came to an end and her second marriage was to Gene Saks from May 28th, 1950 through June 27th, 1980 after they had two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
Bea Arthur was inducted in to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and also won an award of achievement from Emerson College's Musical Theater Society in Boston in 2000. On April 24th, Arthur passed away from cancer in her home and was survived by her two sons and her two grandchildren. Her body was cremated and her ashes were scattered.
2005 Curb Your Enthusiasm
2000 Enemies of Laughter
2000 Malcolm in the Middle
1999 Emily of New Moon
1997 Dave's World
1995 For Better or Worse
1992 The Golden Palace
1985-1992 The Golden Girls
1989 Empty Nest
1988 My First Love
1984 a.k.a. Pablo
1981 History of the World: Part I
1979 The Mary Tyler Moore Hour
1978 The Star Wars Holiday Special
1971-1972 All in the Family
1970 Lovers and Other Strangers
1963 The Sid Caesar Show
1959 That Kind of Woman
1958 Hallmark Hall of Fame
1951-1958 Kraft Theatre
1958 The Seven Lively Arts
1956-1957 Caesar's Hour
1955 Max Liebman Presents: Kaleidoscope
1951-1953 Studio One in Hollywood
1951 Once Upon a Tune