Bea Arthur, 1922-2009


Bea Arthur, who passed this weekend, was best known for her TV work as Maude and as Dorothy on The Golden Girls, for which she won Emmys, but she was also a stage veteran who played Lucy Brown in the famous Theatre De Lys production of The Threepenny Opera — her booming, wised-up voice can be heard on the soundtrack album — and won a Tony as Vera Charles in Mame. She was a formidable and mordant presence, which was her stock in trade, but was also capable of vulnerability, as she showed in her breakdown episodes of Maude. And as this ridiculous clip shows, she knew not only how to have a good time onstage, regardless of the material, but also how to make a good time infectious.