Biography

(note: for most up to date, visit IMDB)

In addition to finding biography information on Bea Arthur, I feel it’s important to have some additional information on a few other people that either have or are currently working with Bea, whom are very familiar to the typical Bea fan as well!

Biography of Beatrice Arthur

NOTE FROM KEVIN :: At one time I said that I would write my own biography of Bea Arthur from gathered information that I have collected over the years. At this time, I will not be pursuing this project. Over the years there have been a couple, well informative, programs that have aired on television illustrating Bea Arthur’s personal and public life and accomplishments. Furthermore, there are other writings, such as the one below, about Bea Arthur to give one an idea of Bea’s history.That being said, there is one HUGE issue among all written and produced biographies, news reports and random articles about Bea Arthur. Her age. I believed for years via my own research that she was born May 13, 1923. However, recently, I have had access to more reliable sources in which the belief is that Bea was born in 1922. This will make Bea’s age, as of May 13, 2007, 85. In the article below, her birth date is listed as 1926, but that is definitely incorrect. The debate is 1923 or 1922. As of today, January 25, 2007, I am changing her official birthday to 1922. Can you prove otherwise? Discuss.Related links ::

1930 Census (Thanks to Gabrielle for sending this)
Birth Certificate (Thanks to Frank for scanning and emailing this)FOLLOW UP NOTE :: This was confirmed on her April 25, 2009 death.


Copyright: Copyright (c) by The H. W. Wilson Company. All rights reserved.
Article Heading: Arthur, Beatrice
May 13, 1926 [1922, see above] – Actress
Publication Statement: 1973 Biography from Current Biography

Full Text: “My training has been total; I’ve done everything except stag movies and rodeos,” the actress Beatrice Arthur quipped in a recent interview (Good Housekeeping, June 1973). Twenty-five years of stage, nightclub, television, and film performing preceded her “overnight stardom” in the popular television series Maude. Created by Norman Lear in answer to blue-collar, bigoted Archie Bunker of his widely discussed All in the Family, Maude is an upper-middle-class matron and an impassioned liberal. Although less social-minded and less outspoken, Miss Arthur, with her commanding presence, is much like the character she has portrayed so engagingly that soon after Maude premiered on CBS in September 1972 it became one of the top comedy situation shows in the Nielsen ratings and has remained high on the list ever since. Another role with which Miss Arthur has become closely identified and which has also given her the opportunity to excel as a master of timing is Vera Charles, the caustic, alcoholic best friend of the heroine of Mame. In the original Broadway cast of that musical comedy, she won a Tony award in 1966 for best supporting actress, and several years later she repeated the role in the motion picture version of Mame.

Born Bernice Frankel, Beatrice Arthur is one of three children of Philip and Rebecca Frankel and a native of New York City. She is reluctant to disclose her birthdate, which according to Sidney Skolsky is May 13, 1926 [1922, see above]. During the Depression, when she was about eleven years old, her family, including an older sister and a younger sister, moved from New York to Cambridge, Maryland, where her father opened a clothing store. They were among the very few Jewish residents of that Eastern Shore town. Always tall, the dark-haired girl reached her adult height of five feet nine and a half inches by the time she was twelve. She took refuge from self-consciousness in going to the movies, collecting pictures of Hollywood actors, and daydreaming that she was a small, blonde, beautiful screen star.

While a student at Cambridge High School, Bea Arthur amused her classmates with imitations of Mae West to cover her feeling of insecurity and was voted the wittiest girl in her class. She later attended Linden Hall High School in Lititz, Pennsylvania, from which she graduated. Then for two years she studied at Blackstone College, a junior college in Virginia, before entering the Franklin Institute of Science and Arts, where she earned a degree as a medical laboratory technician. But routine hospital work at home in Cambridge soon bored her, and still ambitious to become an actress, she went to New York to enroll in Erwin Piscator’s celebrated Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research.

Because of her impressive height and deep, powerful voice, Piscator cast her as classic heroines. She made her stage debut in the title role of Lysistrata at his workshop in 1947. Her professional debut, as a member of the speaking chorus in The Dog Beneath the Skin, followed at the Cherry Lane on July 21, 1947. Continuing in a series of plays at that Greenwich Village theatre, she played the title role in Yerma (1947), Inez in No Exit (1948), Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (1948), the Mother in Six Characters in Search of an Author (1948), the Mother in The Owl and the Pussycat (1948), the Marchioness in Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1949), Constance in Yes Is for a Very Young Man (1949), Telka in The Creditors (1949), and Hessione in Heartbreak House (1949). Meanwhile, in 1948, she sang on television in Once Upon a Time.

Among her fellow students at the Dramatic Workshop, along with Harry Guardino, Harry Belafonte, and Marlon Brando, was the actor Gene Saks, who also performed in several Cherry Lane plays. He and Miss Arthur were married on May 28, 1950. Living in a cold water flat and making the theatrical rounds, they were so enamored of the stage that they felt successful even when not working. In the summer of 1951 Beatrice Arthur joined the stock company of Atlantic City’s Circle Theatre, where she added to her repertory the roles of Jessie in Personal Appearance, the Baroness in Candle Light, Nita in Love or Money, and Olive in The Voice of the Turtle. During 1953 she portrayed Clotilde Lombaste in The New Moon at the State Fair Music Hall in Dallas and Dorothy in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the Music Circus in Lambertville, New Jersey and also performed as resident comedienne at the Tamiment Theatre in Pennsylvania.

Eventually, in a rewarding New York engagement Beatrice Arthur was cast as Lucy Brown in the Marc Blitzstein adaptation of Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera. The musical opened at the off-Broadway Theatre de Lys on March 10, 1954 to splendid reviews and became a longrunning hit. Miss Arthur received notices of “excellent” for both her singing and acting. She left the show for Ben Bagley’s Shoestring Revue, which premiered at the off-Broadway President Theatre on February 28, 1955. Several critics praised her monologue and satiric torch song, with Brooks Atkinson commenting in the New York Times (March 1, 1955), “In one poisonously joyful number about cocktail prattle, Beatrice Arthur is skillfully devastating.” Her performance won her a nomination for the 1955 Donaldson Award.

Called in to replace Fifi d’Orsay as Madame Suze, Miss Arthur joined the cast of Seventh Heaven in Philadelphia and arrived at New York’s ANTA Theatre with that musical on May 26, 1955. Poor reviews closed the production after forty-four performances. She resumed her role in The Threepenny Opera on September 20 and remained until the following spring when she again left to appear in The Ziegfeld Follies, in which she also understudied Tallulah Bankhead. When that show folded before reaching Broadway, Miss Arthur spent the summer touring in a play titled What’s the Rush? The next year she played Mirandolina in Mistress of the Inn at the Bucks County Playhouse.

On October 16, 1957 Beatrice Arthur opened in her first Broadway comedy, Nature’s Way, by Herman Wouk, at the Coronet Theatre. Of her performance in the minor role of Nadine Fesser, a reviewer for Variety (October 23, 1957) wrote, “The flamboyant felonies of a phony interior decorator are whammed across by Beatrice Arthur.” The play was short-lived. Audiences next saw her in Ulysses in Nighttown, the Circe segment of James Joyce’s famous novel, which was dramatized by Padraic Colum, directed by Burgess Meredith, and presented at the off-Broadway Rooftop Theatre on June 5, 1958. Richard Watts Jr. in the New York Post (June 6, 1958) called particular attention to “the impressive portrayal of the dominating brothel madam, Bella, by Beatrice Arthur.” With the encouragement of the critics the play ran until the following November, when it was forced to close because the theatre was being torn down.

Early in her career, to earn a living when not employed in the theatre, Miss Arthur sang in such well-known nightclubs as the Blue Angel, Ruban Bleu, and Number One Fifth Avenue. During the 1950’s, to augment her income, she played under-five-line parts on the TV shows of Steve Allen, Sid Caesar, Jack Parr, Art Carney, and Perry Como and appeared with Wayne and Shuster on the Ed Sullivan Show. Norman Lear, a fan since her Shoestring Revue days, invited her to come to Hollywood in 1959 as a regular on the George Gobel Show, of which he was producer-director. She survived only two episodes of the program. Returning to New York, she opened at the off-Broadway Orpheum Theatre on May 18, 1959 in a topical revue Chic, which did not please the critics. Walter Kerr, however, paid tribute to the actress (New York Herald Tribune, May 19, 1959): “Then there is Beatrice Arthur, a landslide of a soubrette who has been here before in a fugitive revue or two and who has a very firm, haughty way of informing you that the next line–no matter what it says–is going to be funny. Others may read lines hopefully, wistfully, or noncommitally–Miss Arthur sets her lips, adjusts her eyes so that you can’t quite avoid them and oozes comic command.” In 1959 she also acted in her first motion picture, as a WAC in Paramount’s That Kind of Woman, starring Sophia Loren.

During the early 1960’s Beatrice Arthur enjoyed a kind of semiretirement from the theatre, playing only Hortense in The Gay Divorcee at the Cherry Lane in the spring of 1960 and Mrs. Miller in the Elaine May play A Matter of Position, which ran for two weeks at the Walnut Theatre in Philadelphia in the fall of 1962. Also, after having urged her husband to change his career from actor to director, she encouraged him through his first directorial assignment, Enter Laughing, a success of the 1962-63 Broadway season.

Harold Prince coaxed Miss Arthur back to the stage by choosing her to play Yente, the Matchmaker, in his musical Fiddler on the Roof. Although the part was drastically cut before the New York opening at the Imperial Theatre on September 22, 1964, she remained with the show until the following May. A year later she won her greatest Broadway acclaim in Mame, which reached the Winter Garden on May 24, 1966. The smash musical, directed by her husband and starring Angela Lansbury, delighted all the critics, who presented Miss Arthur with glowing notices as Vera Charles. Richard Watts Jr., for example, wrote in the New York Post (June 4, 1966), “But the performance of the evening is given by Beatrice Arthur in the smaller assignment of the aunt’s severest friend. Miss Arthur presents a portrait in acid of a savagely witty, cynical and serpent-tongued woman who is at once a terror, a scourge, the relentless voice of truth, and a pleasure to have around.” For her creation of Vera Charles, she won the 1966 Antoinette Perry Award for best supporting actress in a musical comedy.

Leaving the hit show at the end of its first year’s run, Miss Arthur returned to temporary retirement, to enjoy the country home, forty miles out of Manhattan, that she and her husband had bought with their earnings from Mame. In the course of the next four years she returned briefly t the stage in a musical version of Bruce Jay Friedman’s A Mother’s Kisses, which failed in its tryout in Baltimore. She also appeared as the Italian mother in David Susskind’s film, Lovers and Other Strangers, released in 1970.

For some time Norman Lear had wanted Beatrice Arthur to try a guest role on his immensely popular television series All in the Family. She kept putting him off because she did not want to leave New York and, also, did not feel attracted to television. However, in the late summer of 1971, when she went to Hollywood to visit her husband, who was directing The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Lear persuaded her to do the show. For her one-shot, he created Maude, a cousin of Edith, who came to care for the Bunker family during an illness. Except for their mutual outspokenness, Cousin Maude was the complete opposite of prejudiced, narrow-minded Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O’Connor, who had appeared in Ulysses in Nighttown with Miss Arthur. A WASP matron, four-times married and proud of her liberal views, Maude quickly gave Archie his comeuppance, much to the delight of the viewers of the September 1971 episode. The response from CBS officials and from listeners was so favorable that Lear developed a separate series with Maude as the central character. The pilot for the new show, presented on All in the Family in the spring of 1972, involved the Bunkers attending Maude’s daughter’s wedding, which, as a result of Archie’s behavior, was called off. It proved to be one of the best-liked Family stories.

Maude premiered as a series on September 12, 1972. In Newsweek (October 9, 1972) Miss Arthur was applauded as “the new show’s real glory.” According to Variety (September 30, 1972), “Miss Arthur is right up there as a candidate for an Emmy in a role she realizes so naturally that it hardly seems to tax talents,” and Cleveland Amory in TV Guide (December 9, 1972) asserted, “Beatrice Arthur’s Maude, liberal, libertarian and libber, is superb.” The cast included Bill Macy as Maude’s husband, Walter Findlay. Within a month Maude took over eleventh place in the Nielsen popularity ratings, forcing NBC’s longrunning Bonanza to change its Tuesday night spot. The new comedy quickly moved to a place in the top five Nielsen-rated programs shown in prime time. Now, in its second year, Maude remains in that category.

In explaining the program’s appeal, a writer for Time (October 1, 1973) quoted Miss Arthur as saying, “Maude’s age, her outspokenness, make her real. For the first time, a person is coming on in a TV sitcom.” Lear’s penchant for mingling realism and provocative social issues with humor has resulted in several highly controversial episodes. The one that caused the greatest furor, “Maude’s Dilemma,” involved the forty-seven-year-old heroine’s discovering that she was pregnant, and after much debate, deciding to have an abortion. When the situation was presented in two parts on November 14 and 21, 1972, some viewers picketed CBS and complained in telephone calls and letters, but only two CBS affiliates canceled the segments. “Maude’s Dilemma” scored fourth place in the national Nielsen ratings, and the final count of letters was six to one in favor of the subject matter and the way the question was resolved. Protests from antiabortionist and Catholic groups resulted in the refusal by thirty-two CBS network affiliates to air the reruns during the summer of 1973. Proabortion, population-control, environmental, religious, and women’s organizations, however, demonstrated for the program. Wilma Scott Heide, president of the National Organization for Women, explained that the purpose of the demonstrators was to dramatize “not only a women’s right to have an abortion but also all people’s right to watch any television show they want.”

Among other controversial subjects dealt with on Maude have been women’s liberation, pornography, political campaigning, race relations, and marijuana laws. An episode on the problem of alcoholism, presented in two parts, opened the series’ fall season in September 1973. Another program treated the topic of face-lifting, an operation undergone not only by Maude, but by Bea Arthur herself, a handsome woman with brown eyes and brown hair streaked with gray.

Between seasons in the rehearsal and taping of Maude, during the spring of 1973, Miss Arthur spent about two months re-creating Vera Charles for the movie version of Mame, directed by her husband and starring Lucille Ball in the title role. At times Bea Arthur finds herself bewildered by her busy schedule and rather startling celebrity. She told Robert Kerwin of the Chicago Tribune (May 18, 1973): “So what does it all mean? You become a popular TV personality. Fifteen million viewers weekly. Top ratings. If you would have told me ten years ago I’d be doing this and being received like I am now, I’d say you’re crazy. There are moments, I’ll be home cooking or something, and it comes to me all at once, and I can’t believe it.”

Bound to California by her TV series, Beatrice Arthur has sublet the family’s cooperative apartment on Central Park West and the country home in Bedford, New York, and has rented a house in Rustic Canyon, midway between Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean. She entertains infrequently, preferring, whenever possible, to spend her weekends in the company only of her husband, her two adopted sons, Matthew (born July 14, 1961) and Daniel (born May 8, 1964), and her two pedigreed German shepherd dogs, George and Julie. A gourmet cook, an avid gardener, an incessant reader, and a collector of antique furniture, she seems to enjoy her home as a refuge from Hollywood and Broadway glamour. Miss Arthur is a member of Actor’s Equity, the Screen Actors Guild, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Works about subject: Chicago Tribune May p56 My 13 ’73 por; Good H 176:38+ Je ’73 pors; N Y Post p40 Ag 11 ’73 por; N Y Sunday News Mag p6+ Ag 26 ’73 pors; N Y Times II p17+ N 19 ’72 por; Newsday II p3+ S 3 ’72 por; Newsweek80:63 O 9 ’72 por; Time p66+ O 1 ’73 por; Biographical Encyclopaedia & Who’s Who of the American Theatre (1966); Who’s Who in America, 1972-73

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Officially from the Playbill ::

Bea Arthur broke onto the American theater scene in 1954 when she performed in a high-profile production of “The Three-Penny Opera.” A talented singer, Arthur followed up her professional stage debut with a part in the successful off-Broadway musical “The Shoestring Revue.”

On Broadway, Arthur originated the role of Yente the matchmaker in the critically acclaimed musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” then performed opposite Angela Lansbury in “Mame.” Arthur won a 1966 Tony for “Mame” and went on to reprise her role in the movie version opposite Lucille Ball.

Arthur appeared in the Oscar-nominated “Lovers and Other Strangers” and in Mel Brooks’ “History of the World – Part I.” She did several made-for-television films, including “My First Love,” with Richard Kiley.

Famed producer Norman Lear took note of Arthur’s commanding performances and cast her as Edith Bunker’s cousin, Maude, in the hit television series “All in the Family.” Her character was so intriguing that she got her own series, “Maude,” and in 1977 Arthur won an Emmy Award for best actress in a comedy series for the role. Next, Arthur joined the cast of “The Golden Girls” as Dorothy, whom she played from 1985 to 1992. The role earned her a second Emmy in 1988.

After years of outstanding work on television, Arthur returned to Broadway and appeared in Woody Allen’s “The Floating Lightbulb.” She has also appeared onstage in Los Angeles, in Anne Meara’s “Afterplay” and in the comedy “Bermuda Avenue Triangle.” Arthur also won the Comedy Ace Award for her performance in the popular series “Malcolm in the Middle.” In addition, she has been active in fund-raising for AIDS research and animal rights.

“After being in the business a long time, I’ve done everything but rodeo and porno,” says Arthur. “…And Then There’s Bea,” the actress’s first one-woman show, is the realization of a longtime dream: to sing the songs she loves the most and share her favorite personal anecdotes with a live audience.

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Beatrice Arthur
[from IMDB.com, biography section]

Actress-comedienne famous for her acid wit. The majority of her work has been on the stage and in television, but she has made some films. She was a regular on Sid Caesar’s show “Caesar’s Hour” for one season in the 1950s. She first gained attention onstage while appearing in the musical play “The Threepenny Opera” with Lotte Lenya. Then, in 1964, she truly became famous when she appeared in the original Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof” as Yente the Matchmaker. In this supporting role, she stole the show night after night. In 1966, she went to work on a new Broadway musical, “Mame, ” directed by her second husband, Gene Saks. For the featured role of Vera Charles in “Mame” she won a Tony. The star of the show, Angela Lansbury, also won a Tony. In 1971, Bea appeared on the hit sitcom “All in the Family” as Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker’s cousin, who was forever driving Archie Bunker crazy with her liberal politics. This guest appearence led to her own series, entitled “Maude”, in 1972. The show was a hit, and ran for six years, during which time many controversial topics, including abortion, were tackled. Bea also won an Emmy for her work on “Maude”. During the show’s run, Bea repeated the role of Vera Charles in the film version of Mame (1974), again directed by Gene Saks, and she was one of the few bright spots in a rather abysmal film. She also appeared on none other than The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978). In 1983, she started work on a new sitcom, “Amanda’s” (1983), which was patterned after “Fawlty Towers”, but it didn’t last long. In 1985, however, she got sweet compensation when her new sitcom, “The Golden Girls” (1985) hit the air. Co-starring Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty, it was a show about four middle-aged women living in Miami. It was an immediate hit, and ran for seven seasons. All of the cast members, including Bea, won Emmys during the show’s run. It should be worth noting that both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” had to be canceled when Bea announced she was leaving each of them. In both cases, she left when she thought each show was at its peak, and in both cases, the producers of the shows realized the shows just wouldn’t be the same without her. Since “Golden Girls” was canceled in 1992, Bea had kept a low profile, appearing in only a couple of movies: For Better or Worse (1996) and Enemies of Laughter (2000). In 1999, she made a very successful and welcome Friars’ Club Roast of Jerry Stiller. She lives on a ranch in California.

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2001-2005
Currently Bea is on a 25 city tour in her own one women show, “And then there’s Bea” with Billy Goldenburg. The following year the name of the show was changed to “Bea Arthur on Broadway, Just Between Friends with Billy Goldenberg at the piano” as the show went on Broadway in New York City. Currently Bea is still performing shows at various locations and dates.

2006-2007
Bea performed her one-women show until March 2006, in the Chicagoland area. She has since recorded video and audio pieces for various DVD presentations and television biographies, as well as, a upcoming MTV show where she is back in the classroom for the day as a teacher (to air in mid-2007).

Biography of Billy Goldenberg 
[from IMDB.com, biography section]
Composer, conductor, arranger, pianist and songwriter, the son of Morris Goldenberg. Educated at Columbia College (BA), where he composed and arranged the Columbia Varsity Shows, and also Camp Tamiment. He took private music studies with Hall Overton. He wrote incidental music for the Broadway revue “An Evening With Mike Nichols & Elaine May”, and arranged dance music for “Greenwillow”, “110 in the Shade”, and “High Spirits”. His chief musical collaborator was songwriter (and author) Larry Alexander. He joined ASCAP in 1961, and his popular songs include “Shouldn’t There Be Lightning?”; and “Take You For Granted”. His classical compositions include “Brass Quintet”; “Woodwind Quintet”; and “String Quartet”.

Biography of Rue McClanahan 
[from IMDB.com, biography section]
A veteran television actress and Broadway star of the 50s, Rue McClanahan was an actress noticed by television associate, Norman Lear. Lear cast her in a number of television shows that included “All in the Family” with Carroll O’Connor and “Maude” with Bea Arthur. McClanahan next co-starred with Vicki Lawrence, Ken Berry, Betty White and Carol Burnett in “Mama’s Family” (1983) for three years, and after it was cancelled by NBC, McClanahan was probably best known for her role as the mean, sharp southern belle, Blanche, in “The Golden Girls” (1985). She once again worked with Bea Arthur and Betty White and newcomer, Estelle Getty. All four of the women won Emmy Awards for their roles. After Bea Arthur left the show after eight seasons, McClanahan, White and Getty returned for a brief spin-off in “The Golden Palace” (1992). In the mid-nineties, McClanahan was diagnosed with cancer, but was able to fight it off and among her other talents in a number of made for TV films, McClanahan has also been noticed on the big screen in recent years co-starring with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in the comedy Out to Sea (1997) and with Casper Van Dien in Starship Troopers (1997). McClanahan also spends her time helping and joining organizations against cancer, AIDS and cruelty against animals.

Biography of Betty White 
[from IMDB.com, biography section]
Before “The Golden Girls” (1985) She spent two years on “Mama’s Family” playing Ellen Harper. On it, she worked with Vicki Lawrence and Rue McClanahan, until it was cancelled by NBC in 1984. Betty White is a Television Hall Of Famer, and has acted in successfull television shows, such as “Mary Tyler Moore” (1970) and probably best known as Rose Nylund in “The Golden Girls” (1985).

Biography of Estelle Getty 
[from IMDB.com, biography section]
Estelle Getty began her acting career in 1978 with Team Mates. She also had short roles in two critically acclaimed classics, ” Tootsie” and “Mask”. In 1985, Estelle began acting in “The Golden Girls”, with Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Rue McClanahan. The successful show won 2 Emmys for outstanding television series, and Estelle herself won an Emmy in 1988. Among other things she’s done in TV is playing Sophia Petrillo in shows several times, “The Golden Palace” and “Empty Nest” among them. Most recently Estelle has been in the family film “Stuart Little”, “Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot” and playing “Hollywood Squares”.

Biography of Angela Lansbury 
[from IMDB.com, biography section]
British character actress, long in the United States. The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States as the Second World War began. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated for an Academy Award for her first film, Gaslight (1944). Two pictures later, she was again nominated for Best Supporting Actress, this time for The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). Now established as a supporting player of quality, she began a long career, often as “the other woman” in major productions and as the leading lady in lesser films. Her features, while not at all old-appearing, gave her an air of maturity that allowed her to pass as much older than she actually was, and she began playing mother roles, often to players of her own age, while yet in her thirties. She concentrated more and more on stage work, achieving notable success in a number of Broadway plays and musicals, winning four Tony Awards in sixteen years. Although active in television since the early 1950s, she obtained her greatest fame in the 1980s by starring in the light mystery program “Murder, She Wrote” (1984). As Jessica Fletcher, she became known and loved by millions for well over a decade. She also became known for the odd fact of almost annual Emmy Award nominations for the role without ever winning for it. An institution in American theatre and television, she is also an inspiration for the graciousness of her personality, which is often exploited and always admired.

Biography of Herb Eldman 
[from tvtome.com, biography section]
Herb Edelman was born in Brooklyn in 1933. Before becoming an actor, Edelman studied to be a veterinarian at Cornell University, but he left during his first year. His other occupations included a journalist, a radio operator and announcer for the Armed Forces, and, after dropping out of Brooklyn College, a hotel manager. Edelman started acting in theater, where he performed in Barefoot in the Park; he played the same role in the 1968 movie. Edelman made appearances in many TV shows, movies, and TV movies over the years, but he is probably best remembered for his recurring role as Dorothy Zbornak’s ex-husband Stan on the long-running sitcom The Golden Girls. Sadly, Herb Edelman died in 1996 at age 62 of emphysema.

Biography of Bill Macy 
[from IMDB.com, biography section]
Appeared in his birthday suit at age 45 in the controversial 1969 NY “nudie” musical “Oh! Calcutta!

Took on many entertainment jobs (poetry-reading, movie bits, comedy-record gigs) before hitting it big on TV as Beatrice Arthur’s malleable hubby on the popular feminist sitcom “Maude.”

Biography of Gene Saks 
[from IMDB.com, biography, trivia section]
Trained at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research; education received at Cornell University.

Early career was spent as an Actors Studio-trained actor making his debut on Broadway in “South Pacific.”

Nominated for a Tony award seven times for his direction and won three times for “I Love My Wife” (1977), “Brighton Beach Memoirs” (1983) and “Biloxi Blues” (1985).

Known for his close, over two-decade association with writer Neil Simon, which included directing Simon’s film versions of Barefoot in the Park (1967), The Odd Couple (1968), Cactus Flower (1969), Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1972), and Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986).

Directed both the Broadway show and film version of “Mame” that featured then-wife Beatrice Arthur.

Has a daughter Annabelle by wife Keren.

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