Bea won an award of achievement from Emerson College's Musical Theater Society in Boston in the spring of 2000.
She was best friends with Angela Lansbury since appearing together in "Mame". This was a friendship she spoke fondly of in her one-woman show.
She did not like to watch her own performances on television or film.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 29-30. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
In 1966 she won a Tony Award as Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for playing Vera Charles in "Mame", a part she recreated in the film version by the same name, Mame (1974).
Was a qualified medical technician.
Once appeared on Judge Judy (1996) as a witness for a defendant who was involved with the animal rights organization PETA. The defendant won.
In 2002 she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for her one-woman show "Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends".
According to a television interview, Arthur claimed that her start in comedy came when she was only a lounge singer. Apparently, when she got up on stage to sing torch songs, the audience would laugh at her because of her deep voice and her height. The nightclub manager then approached her and told her she was in the wrong business. She should be doing comedy instead.
Her first real name, Bernice, is pronounced like Bur-ness.
Her mother, Rebecca Frankel, died in 1986.
Before she was a successful actress and comedienne, Bea Arthur was one of the first women to become an active-duty United States Marine. She volunteered and served during World War II as a truck driver and a typist in the Marine Corps. She was stationed at Marine Corps and Navy air stations in Virginia and North Carolina. During her military career, Arthur's rank went from private to corporal to sergeant to staff sergeant, the title she held upon her honorable discharge in September 1945.
She is survived by two granddaughters, Kyra and Violet.
Was 5'9-1/2" by the time she was 12 years old.
Her idol when she was young was June Allyson.
Friends with: Shirley Jones, Angela Lansbury, Florence Henderson, Charlotte Rae, Marla Gibbs, Della Reese, Dick Van Dyke, Dick Van Patten, Katherine Helmond, Richard Mulligan, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Johnny Carson, Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner, Conrad Bain, Norman Lear, Bill Macy, Esther Rolle, Nanette Fabray, Estelle Getty, Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Carol Channing, Mike Douglas, Joan Collins, Shirley MacLaine, Doris Roberts, John Amos, Jason Alexander, Rue McClanahan, Susan Harris, Herb Edelman, Tony Curtis, Rod Steiger, George Gobel, Perry Como, Bill Dana, Harry Belafonte, Mickey Rooney, Beverly Garland and Dinah Shore.
After her death The Ali Forney Center, a New York not-for-profit agency devoted to providing emergency shelter, medical services, and help getting off the streets to young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender homeless people, learned that she had left them $300,000.00 in her will. The center plans to use the bequest to buy a building that will become permanent housing for some of these youths. The center plans to name the building The Bea Arthur Residence for LGBT Homeless Youth.
As a girl Bea attended Linden Hall School for Girls, an all girls school in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Later she attended Blackstone College for Girls in Blackstone, Virginia, where she was active in drama productions.
The comic book character Deadpool is infatuated with Bea and considers to her as the sexiest woman on earth.
Words of remembrance for "Time" magazine's milestones tribute by TV critic Jim Poniewozik (Issue: May 11, 2009).
Got a phone call from Norman Lear, about guest-starring on a few episodes of All in the Family (1971), only because Lear strongly insisted her on doing it, despite Arthur, who hated flying. She agreed at the very last minute to take the role for a few episodes, hence, this led her into her starring role on Maude (1972).
Like Bea, her first husband Robert Alan Aurthur also died of lung cancer in 1978.
She was a lifelong liberal Democrat and over the years was in support of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Adlai Stevenson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. She also was a donor to the Democratic National Committee and like her trademark characters of Maude Findlay and Dorothy Zbornak her Democratic concepts constantly coincided with her views on education, womens rights, gay liberation, and economics.
She was frequently referenced in dialogue as being the favorite actress and an icon to the Marvel Comics' character Deadpool.
Was the popular national spokesperson for Canadian drug store chain Shoppers Drug Mart in television and radio commercials throughout the 1980s.
She was posthumously inducted as a Disney Legend in 2009. Her Golden Girls co-stars Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty (also posthumously) were inducted the same year.
Met first husband Robert Alan Aurthur while she was in the Marines, the year after her enlistment.
The second Golden Girls star to die.
Bea Arthur lost her life on April 25, 2009 and was cremated. Just a few days after her death, the Broadway community paid tribute to Arthur by dimming the marquees of New York City's Broadway theater district in her memory for one minute at 8:00 p.m.
She was a fan of the TV show South Park (1997).
Acting mentor and friend of Adrienne Barbeau.
Appeared on the front cover of TV Guide six times.
Classmate of Marlon Brando.
Won an award of achievement from Emerson College's Musical Theater Society, in Boston, Massachusetts. .
Studied acting at Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop of the New School in New York City, New York.
In May 2013 a nude painting of her sold for $1.9 million in New York City.
Began her show Maude (1972) at age 50.
Makes her Australian debut in Melbourne and Sydney in "And Then There's Bea" from mid October to early November. [October 2002]
Had a fear of flying.
Began singing at age 12.
Attended the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Before becoming a successful actress and comedienne, she was employed to sing on weekends, occasionally, for $2 a night, in Cambridge, Maryland.
Arthur convinced her parents to send her to summer school in New York.
Was voted 'The Wittiest Girl in High School,' at Linden Hall School for Girls.
Had escaped the alienation she felt in the Eastern shoretown, by going to the movies on Saturdays.
Met second husband Gene Saks, while in acting school, in 1949.
Before she was a successful actress and a comedienne, she once worked at a nightclub in New York City.
Graduated from Linden Hall School for Girls, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, in 1941.
Performed in theater while in high school.
She was known to be a very private and shy person.
Pulmonary carcinoma ran in her family.
She wanted to be a big band leader.
Her sister, Kay, lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Her parents, Philip and Rebecca Frankel, were both managers at a woman's department store in Cambridge, Maryland.
When she was a young girl, she used to do Mae West imitations.
When Arthur was 11, her family moved to Cambridge, Maryland, in 1933.
Enjoyed spending time with her family, singing, collecting antique furniture, traveling, gardening, taking care of pets and dancing.
She was a heavy smoker.
Just five years after her own death, her sister, Kay, died in 2014, who lived to be 88.
Had legally changed her name from Bernice Frankel to Bea Arthur, because of her marriage to Robert Alan Aurthur, in 1947, at 25.
Of Jewish heritage.
Lifelong friend of Angela Lansbury.
Upon her death, she was cremated, her ashes were given to her family.
She played Dorothy Zbornak from 1985 to 1993, though she didn't star on The Golden Palace (1992).
On Maude (1972), her character was liberal, in real-life, Arthur was a liberal Democrat.
When she was starring in Maude (1972), she was doing an episode about abortion. Even though abortion was legal in New York State, it was illegal in many other regions of the country, and as such sparked controversy. As a result, dozens of affiliates refused to broadcast the episode when it was originally scheduled, substituting either a repeat from earlier in the season or a Thanksgiving TV special in its place. However, by the time of the summer rerun season six months later all the flak had died down, and the stations that refused to air the episode upon its first run reinstated it for the reruns the following summer. As a result, a reported 65 million viewers watched the two episode arc either in their first run that November or during the following summer as a rerun.