Eighties babies, stand up if you grew up watching The Golden Girls! Seventies babies, stand up if you grew up watching Maude! Either way, if you’re like me, you probably came up as a young one enjoying and appreciating the talents of Bea Arthur.

I’m sad to share the news that the legendary stage and television actress passed away today, succumbing to cancer at age 86. I found out the sad news via Nichelle of 55 Secret Street on Twitter. I’m sure there’ll be a warm tribute on the TV news later tonight.

I can’t say I’ve ever seen an episode of Maude, but man The Golden Girls was a regular part of my TV schedule as a little one. Maybe too little — those ladies were trading some scandalous zingers that went over my head then! That show was groundbreaking. Single women in their fifties, having fun, finding romance and living life in Miami? Unprecedented. The Golden Girls became the template for sitcoms to follow. Girlfriends and Sex and the City both owe a debt of gratitude to Dorothy, Sophia, Blanche, and Rose.

Bea Arthur wasn’t my favorite Girl — this bella is a Blanche at heart! But Bea Arthur played the straight woman like few others could. Dorothy’s style, her deadpan, deep voiced delivery, and her classic comedic timing made her an icon. Bea Arthur was a legend in her field, a great actress and a devoted animal lover. RIP, Bea. You will be missed.



Niki says:
April 25, 2009, 6:01 pm
When I've had a rough week, a couple galsses of wine and a Golden Girls marathon are just the thing to get me back in a good frame of mind. 2 of the four are gone now... so sad. But we will always have reruns. It blows my mind that a show like GG probably couldn't be made today.
ChocolateOrchid says:
April 25, 2009, 6:29 pm
OMG! I'm still shocked! I'm a seventies baby so I knew her back in the day when she played "Maude". You should check those out if you can. They are some hilarious classics. I was happy to see her do Golden Girls. That was an awesome show! May she rest in peace.
Shell says:
April 25, 2009, 7:26 pm
I just heard this one the news. I loved Bea Arthur. She is going to be missed. You are so right, Sex and in the city, owes a lot to Golden Girls.
UnalteredBeauty says:
April 25, 2009, 9:03 pm
She was definitely my favorite character. Her dry sense of humor and biting sarcasm were classic. She'll be missed.
Renee says:
April 25, 2009, 9:10 pm
I was very saddened to hear of her passing. She was a beacon for women and always played strong female roles. On Maude she was the first woman to publicly consider abortion on television.
Luvvie says:
April 25, 2009, 9:10 pm
I'm REALLY sad to hear about Bea Arthur's passing. I JUST blogged about how much I loved the Golden Girls last week so to hear about this is jarring. RIP Bea.
Ketta says:
April 25, 2009, 9:16 pm
I'm a eighty baby and it was strange cause when it was on I never watched it (Cosby Show baby till I die :-)) so I didn't start watching till I was in high school on Lifetime. Bea and Estelle were both my favorite. Them playing off each other were classic. Both will be missed greatly
PBG says:
April 25, 2009, 9:20 pm
Awww...RIP Ms. Arthur. "Dorothy" forever to me. I remember seeing "Maude" in syndication as a little kid, but I was hooked on Golden Girls as a teenager in the 80's. I don't think there is one episode I haven't seen. I loved Dorothy because she was so sharp! Her wit was only surpassed by Sophia! LOL! Now they're both in heaven. Thanks for the memories!
nikki says:
April 25, 2009, 9:30 pm
I just watched The Golden Girls last night! :( I was so sad to hear that she had passed this morning. :( Dorthy went to be with her Ma.
nolagirl says:
April 25, 2009, 9:59 pm
golden girls was over my head until highschool, I didn't watch Maude until the same time on TV land, but she played Mame and that made me love her. At least she lived a long life.
Aubrey says:
April 25, 2009, 10:36 pm
One of my fondest memories was watching the Golden Girls with my grandmother. She used to laugh until tears fell, and just like you Afrobella, I would sit confused, as the jokes went right over my head. When they put GG on Lifetime, I became a HUGE fan. I love the show! One of my favorites is Rose's production of Chicken Little--Dorothy played Turkey Lurky...hilarious. Bea will be greatly missed!!
BeauteNoire says:
April 25, 2009, 10:54 pm
I had no idea Bea had passed! I was just thinking about the GGs this morning for some reason. I am a HUGE fan of the show (don't hate on the DVD collection!), and loved the Dorothy/Sophia chemistry. Everything I learned about being a smart alec I learned from her! May she rest in peace.
Missy says:
April 26, 2009, 12:45 am
I can't believe it!!! Dorothy was my favorite on GG's. I have to admit, I'm probably more of a Blanche that wishes she was a Rose. Man....I STILL catch an episode or two of that show!!!
nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
April 26, 2009, 2:25 am
sad indeed. I've caught up with Maude in reruns (random fact, Donny Hathaway sang the theme song) and GGs was one of the funniest shows on TV. Very talented woman. I think Maude was a spin off from All in The Family. She was Archie Bunker's cousin.
Tafari says:
April 26, 2009, 3:12 am
Bea was my boo in my head, I will miss her! Tafari
tracey k. in ohio says:
April 26, 2009, 5:49 am
RIP Ms. Arthur! Back in the day, my mom used to let me stay up (on school nights) so we could watch Maude together. I loved her character - she didn't take no mess & never held her tongue. Then I loved her even more on G.Girls. A great talent will be missed.
augusta says:
April 26, 2009, 11:55 am
i'm only 26, but i loved watching the golden girls as a kid..dorothy (her mom on the show, a close second) was my favorite character. she will be missed.
MochaSiren says:
April 26, 2009, 12:57 pm
I am a Seventies baby (1971 in the house!)I first saw Ms. Bea Arthur on All in the Family. I watched "Maude" as a kid even though the issues were over my head! (but didn't we love the Donny Hathaway theme song?!)And of course I watched The Golden Girls" in my teens! I am nearly DESPONDENT that my favorite Golden Girl is gone! I wanted to see her in 2005 in her one-woman show "And Then There's Bea" but wasn't able to! How I regert that! R.I.P.!!!
Nerd Girl says:
April 26, 2009, 5:25 pm
Loved the Golden Girls and Bea Arthur as Dorothy was my favorite! Loved her wit and dry sense of humor. She and "Sophia" had a relationship that reminds me of mine with my mother. May she rest in peace.
Mdc says:
April 26, 2009, 5:41 pm
I discovered Bea from The Golden Girls. What a fantastic vehicle for women over 50. it didn't matter that the audience weren't the same age (i am a 70's baby), the writing and acting were excellent and the show still stands the test of time in re-runs. Bea Arthur was pure class and will be sorely missed.
Nauchette says:
April 26, 2009, 8:16 pm
I totally agree with you saying that "Sex and the City" and other recent shows are indebted to "The Golden Girls". I used to watch it every Saturday night when I was little. I had no idea of all the innuendo and double entendres then, but I totally get a kick out of it now that I am in my 20s! Each character on "GG" reminded me of relatives. Sofia reminded me of my great-grandma, and Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche were similar to my grandaunts. Bea Arthur will truly be missed. She had amazing comic timing and was such a presence on-screen. Rest in peace, Bea!
Aisha says:
April 26, 2009, 9:50 pm
I was so sad to hear this. I watch Golden Girls as though it's still a brand new show. Bea Arthur (as well as the other ladies was so hilarious. Just the looks she would give! The writing and acting were superb. This show was one of a kind and still relevant. R.I.P Dorothy!
ChiLady119 says:
April 27, 2009, 2:59 am
Team Dorothy, is all I will say. Nobody could do sarcasm like Bea. I like all the girls but I'll miss her the most.
Starchild says:
April 27, 2009, 4:02 pm
Thank you for making the SATC connection, Bella! I used to say GG was like a SATC for the retired set. :-) I love that show, I've seen every episode. Funny how both Bea and Rue were on Maude, but Rue's character was all sweet - not like Blanche at all! RIP, Bea. Thank you for always playing strong-minded roles.
KF519 says:
April 28, 2009, 8:49 am
Ms. Arthur will truly be missed. I grew up watching GG and loved every minute. I still catch the reruns every now and then. Such a great and funny show!
jasminethejigsaw says:
April 28, 2009, 2:31 pm
I lovezzz me some Bea! Me and her go WAY back. When I was in kindergarten, I'd come home everyday after school, sit on the couch and snack on sliced apples as I watched my show "The Golden Girls" and my home girl, Dorothy. I'm surprised I didn't cry when I found out she died though I most likely will the next time I get a chance to watch the show. RIP Bea :(
Wes says:
April 28, 2009, 4:12 pm
I LOVED the Golden Girls then and I still love them now; I make sure I catch the reruns every night before going to bed... RIP "Dorothy", you'll surely be missed.
karen says:
April 28, 2009, 11:59 pm
Golden Girls is definitely a favorite. I watch frequently. Like Bella, Blanche is my girl. "I don't want to treated as your equal. I want to be treated better than you!" However, Dorothy was definitely #2. She could throw a verbal gut punch like no one else.
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