Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thank you for being a friend.
Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows "Maude" and "The Golden Girls", has died. She was 86.
"Golden Girls" (1985-1992) was a groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience.
The series concerned three retirees – Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan – and the mother of Arthur's character, Estelle Getty, who lived together in a Miami apartment. In contrast to the violent "Miami Vice," the comedy was nicknamed "Miami Nice."
As Dorothy Zbornak, Arthur seemed as caustic and domineering as Maude. She was unconcerned about the similarity of the two roles. "Look – I'm 5-feet-9 (1.75 meters), I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line," she told an interviewer. "What can I do about it? I can't stay home waiting for something different. I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting."
The interplay among the four women and their relations with men fueled the comedy, and the show amassed a big audience and 10 Emmys, including two as best comedy series and individual awards for each of the stars.