April 27, 2009

Former 'Golden Girl' dead at 86

Posted: 08:55 AM ET

Bea Arthur, the actress best known for her roles as television's "Maude" and the sardonic Dorothy on "The Golden Girls," has died of cancer, a family spokesman said Saturday. She was 86.

Spokesman Dan Watt said that Arthur died Saturday morning at her home in Los Angeles, her family by her side.

She is survived by her sons Matthew and Daniel and grandchildren Kyra and Violet, he said.

No funeral services are currently planned, Watt said, adding that the family asked that donations be made to either the Art Attack Foundation or PETA in lieu of flowers.

Arthur's opinionated Maude first appeared on Norman Lear's "All in the Family" as Edith Bunker's cousin, and was so popular that Lear created a spin-off series.


Filed under: Hollywood • Larry King Live

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Dave of Detroit   April 27th, 2009 10:05 am ET

Maude was a great example of how sarcasm could be funny-her humor and personal charisma will be sorely missed!

Terry, TX   April 27th, 2009 1:51 pm ET

She will be missed.

michael johnson   April 27th, 2009 4:17 pm ET

im sorry about hereing that she was a good woman i loved here shows

michael johnson oh   April 27th, 2009 4:18 pm ET

she was a good woman i loved here shows they was funny and i loved wacthing them

Liz in DC   April 27th, 2009 4:49 pm ET

Bee Arthur's "Maude" character was an inspiration for me growing up when the women's liberation movement was just starting. I would not be who I am, today, without the role models I saw on television. Thank you, Bee!

hugh ~ california   April 27th, 2009 7:12 pm ET

Pontiac GTO

"Little GTO, you're really lookin' fine
Three deuces and a four-speed and a 389
Listen to her tachin' up now, listen to her 'why-ee-eye-ine'
C'mon and turn it on, wind it up, blow it out GTO."
–Ronnie and the Daytonas (1964)

It was a nice run, but all good things must come to an end.

Suzie   April 27th, 2009 7:17 pm ET

Bea Arthur was a gem. Bea spoke with a true outlook on how wemon today should handle a man who thinks they know more than a woman. The facts are this, if a woman knows what she is talking about, somehow the man will try and put her down, only to find out that wemon are not listening anymore. God made a woman strong but if He made us stronger than men, we would beat the hecht out of them. March on Bea, thanks for the lessons.

hugh ~ california   April 27th, 2009 7:30 pm ET

Sorry, wrong blog. Be at peace "Maude" Bea Arthur.

Maryl-CA   April 27th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

A great lady and always enjoyable to watch on Golden Girls. She will be missed.

Mwhiteley1   April 27th, 2009 9:42 pm ET

We loved "Maude". She was the best. She inspired women to be thier fullest.

Dawn T.   April 27th, 2009 9:48 pm ET

I love, love, love the ladies from the Golden Girls. It is truly one of my all time favorite shows. I catch the sydicated shows as often as I can. They are truly comedy giants and I'm sad to see another one leave us. God Bless all of them.

azi   April 27th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I came to US 16 years ago, and not only watching Golden girls strengthen my english, but her comebacks made me laugh all the time for all these years. Timeless..

Cheryl   April 27th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

What a wonderful woman and an inspiring actress. Bea was always a joy to watch and she had a unique voice. She will most certainly be sorely missed by us all.

Jason   April 27th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

oh I love Bea Arthur and I'll miss her so much I had hope that a tv reunion of The Golden Girls would have happen but now it looks like that will never happen. Bye Bea Arthur you are were the one I loved the most.

Joel   April 27th, 2009 9:49 pm ET

I was born when "Maude" came out, but I will always remember the Golden Girls. She was my favorite as she always had something witty, yet something dry and caustic to say. It's not the "Golden Girls" without Dorothy Zbornak. Bea, you will be missed!! Thank you for being a friend!

Larry   April 27th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

my mother and i really loved Bea Arthur. However, we were very dissapointed that you did not mention any of her times when she played maude. there are some good memories when she played edith's cousin.

TJohnson   April 27th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

I loved Bea Arthur's dead-pan humor! Thanks for all the years of laughter! Bea, you will be truly missed.

Don   April 27th, 2009 9:56 pm ET

I have been choked up since I heard the news about Bea Aruther. Stunning lady, actress, and all around fantastic soul...thank you Bea for all your talent and laughs.

Patrick Jones   April 27th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

Who will ever forget the great talent Bea Arthur from Maude and of course Dorothy on The Golden Girls! Hope that you locate Sophia/Estelle Getty who passed last year because I know that you all will keep them laughing up there! All of these special ladies including Rue and Betty did much more than the GG, but I will never forget this one-of-a-kind show that still cracks me up whenever I watch it. Thanks for being everyones friend.

Zia   April 27th, 2009 9:59 pm ET

Larry, thanks for doing the tribute to Bea Arthur. I was in 7th grade during Maude and I remember back then doing a paper about my heroes and she was on my list. Portraying a strong confident woman who didn't live to bask in her glamour and beauty was a message that growing women like me needed in our lives. Maude and Dorothy's wit and humor were great lessons. Bea's contribution was hugely valuable. Thanks again.

IllinoisPam   April 27th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

Bea Arthur = pure class.

Brandon   April 27th, 2009 10:01 pm ET

To the family of Mama Bea my heart and condolenscence go out to all of you. I been watching the Golden Girls since I was a kid in the 80s and I have never stopped. All of the girls were like my mothers to me and now my precious Bea is resting in her eternal life. I will NEVER forget you and I LOVE YOU very much! My friend and I act like the Golden Girls many times so I know her memory along with Mama Sofia will be FOREVER in my heart. I been crying since Saturday when I found this news about Mama Bea so now I just saw Larry King speaking with Mama Rue and Mama Betty, and logged on to say my words. Thank you, Brandon

Dave   April 27th, 2009 10:07 pm ET

From her TV shows, movies and Broadway performances Ms. Arthur never bored the audience. No one could deliver a deadpan line like her. "The Golden Girls" was and remains one of the best written and acted comic TV shows of all time. The wonderful ensemble cast was pure magic. Deepest sympathies to her family and friends. She was one of a kind.

Tulip   April 27th, 2009 10:25 pm ET

I'm so sad that Bea/Dorothy/Pussycat/babe is no longer with us. I'm such a fan of the show; I must've watched every episode 10X or maybe 20X when they were still showing on Lifetime. I still watch it on Hallmark and WE these days. I remember most of the lines but I don't care. Bea was always fun to watch. She was so inspiring to me. Although I don't know Bea personally but I really think that she's very much the character that she played. She's intelligent, strong, and independent. I wish the show would go on forever. I just can't stand watching those dumb reality shows.

Deane   April 28th, 2009 12:25 am ET

Still watching the brilliant Golden Girls on Hallmark and appreciating their uplifting humor. What comedic chemistry these women present. Bea Arthur was a beauty and a talented actress.

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