The day we dreaded; the day Bea Arthur left us

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bea_arthur_passingYou would think that I would be prepared for this day, because I certainly did. No. My jaw just dropped when a friend messaged me saying so sorry to hear about Bea. I said “WHAT?, where did you hear this”, being stuff like this is thrown at me all the time. But, as I have always said, I won’t believe it until I see it on CNN. Well, it was on MSNBC’s web site, so if that isn’t a confirmation enough, I don’t know what is. However, as I write this, I am now seeing it as breaking news on CNN. I am in shock, as I, nor anyway in the public knew that she had cancer. I’m sure more will be released in the future about these details.

In the meantime, let me just say that my thoughts and prayers to go her family and friends that had the private knowledge of Bea’s cancer and decline, in which I’m sure they have been secretly concerned about all this time.

I’m going to post this up right now, but will be updating it when more information is present. At of this moment, it is only breaking news that she passed away this morning from cancer. No further information is available as of this original posting. So stay tuned, as always.

She really appreciated her fans, you. So, don’t forget that! Don’t be sad today, instead break out your Golden Girls and Maude DVDs and remember why we loved that dry-wit sense of humor that got us through our own personal hard times in life. That is what friends are for, thank you Bea.

This site is understandably getting hit hard today, so it’s going up and down a lot. Feel free to follow my twitter as I will be posting on there as well.

Beatrice Arthur – May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009
LA Times

:: Additional tidbits and points of interest from news sources ::

• “Maude,” “Golden Girls” star was at home with family in Los Angeles
• No funeral services are currently planned, family asked that donations be made to either the Art Attack Foundation or PETA in lieu of flowers.

A note I just received from Bea’s assistant/spokesperson ::

On be half of the Art Attack Foundation we are deeply saddened by the lost of one of Broadway and Television’s greatest, Bea Arthur.

Ms. Arthur broke onto the American theatre scene in 1954 when she performed in a production of Three-Penny Opera. Miss Arthur followed her stage debut with another successful off-Broadway musical, The Shoestring Revue. In 1964 it was the role of Yenter, the matchmaker, in Fiddler on the Roof, which made her truly famous. A year later she won her greatest Broadway acclaim in Mame. Starring opposite Angela Lansbury, her portrayal of Vera Charles, a savagely witty and serpent-tongued woman earned her a Tony Award in 1966.

Famed producer Norman Lear took note of Miss Arthur in The Shoestring Review, and convinced her to do a guest role as Edith Bunker’s cousin, Maude, on All in the Family. Her character was so intriguing that she got her own show in 1972. Bea won an Emmy for best actress in a comedy series for her work on Maude. Next, Arthur joined the cast of The Golden Girls, for which she also won an Emmy. The show ran seven years.

Bea’s career encompassed all area’s of the performing arts which is why she was the perfect fit to be our Chairperson. As a way to say “thank you” for Miss Arthur’s support through the years, the Art Attack Foundation has decided to create a special scholarship in her name that will be given to those with exceptional talent and drive in the performing arts. Bea, you were an inspiration to many and you will be truly missed.

With Love,

Dan Watt
Founder/Executive Director
Art Attack Foundation

18 Responses to “The day we dreaded; the day Bea Arthur left us”

  1. Kimberly

    Just found out….while watching ‘Maude’ on youtube…


    – thank you for all your work on this site!

    –greif stricken… end of an era… I wish I remembered when I first saw Bea… All in the Family? I must of known of her
    incredible talent before ‘Golden Girls’…..
    I was born in late 60s…so I’m not sure when in the 70s…when I was inspired by Lear, MTM Ent., G. Marshall..etc…shows. I suppose I saw her when I was kid on ‘All in the Family’… Edith’s Cousin Maude.

    —Thank you for your site and letting me know about
    ‘For Better or Worse’ …I’ll be watching Maude, All in the Family, Mame, For Better…, Golden Girls tonight.

  2. Sky


    Thanks so much for all of the work you have put into this site. Like everyone else I am so sorry to hear of the ‘Great Lady’s’ passing. But I don’t think she would like the thought of our tears, we had her in our living room for 3 decades. She blessed our lives. You know people say that love and death are the two common and universal journeys. But there is a great difference, Love is more poweful and last longer. A body is taken only once, but love… Love can be given a thousand times. Ask how someone died, the answer is finite, ask how they loved. The answer is infinite. The love that Bea Aurthur had for her craft and her fans will live a long, long while.
    May everyone walk with the creator.

    Skytiyia Stormcloud

  3. Gordy

    How saddened I was to read that this classic piece of art made by god has gone home to him. Beatrice will be missed by millions worldwide. She has gone home to Sophia…

    My heart, my thoughts, my praryers go out to her family and friends. May you find comform.

    Beatrice, as always, thank you for being a friend

  4. Ian U. UK

    Many thanks for the times you made me laugh until I cried. I still watch The Golden Girls very regularly. Absolute classic. RIP Bea. Deepest sympathy to your family.

  5. craigh

    thanks so much for this site. i’ve perused it a few times over the years. i had to check in today. damn it. i really thought she’d live forever. it’s strange, because i was just in the middle of burning through my Golden Girls dvds. i’m in the middle of season three as i type this. so bloody sad.
    again, thanks for all your hard work.

  6. Fred

    Our dear, beloved Bea has now exited, stage left, but has she? We have her amazing performances to remember and watch. Yes, tears, but let’s not forget the gift she gave us; the gift of laughter. Let us laugh and carry on the way she would want us to.

  7. Tracy

    Honestly, I wept when I read on my Yahoo home page that we had lost Bea.

    Like already mentioned, I guess I thought she’d stay with us forever. I am so very sad.

    Bea left us amazing work to remember her by, and for that, I am greatful.

    Thank you for your wonderful website. We all grieve with you.

    And to Bea, I say: Thank you dear lady for your wealth of work. You will never be forgotten.


  8. Shawn

    I first seen Bea on The Golden Girls in the 1988 when I was 12…. I found that she had that funny humor that I knew would grow on me… Then by chance I did got to watch Maude… Bea to me thru tv was like just an exrta grandmother attched with the ones I already had.

    So Just as Many of Us found out yesterday that we had lost another Golden Girl… But in true Spirit… I thought well at Least we still have her all her glory on Dvd.

    Bea : You will always be a true Friend thru and thru

    IL. USA

  9. Fred

    It’s hard, I tell you. I’m alternating between tears while typing this and laughter while watching segments of “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” which are posted on the internet. I’m so glad I caught her one-woman show in 2006. I laughed, marvelled at her glamour and style, and finally cried at the end, for the love of this fabulous lady. There simply won’t be another “Bea”. Now Sony, do the right thing and release the remaining seasons of “Maude” on DVD. We need them now more than ever.

  10. Sam

    This is soooo sad:(:(
    I cried last night i cannot believe it
    She will always be in our hearts

    R.I.P Bea Arthur

  11. Carole from France

    She was my favourite golden girsl that’s what I was writting on my blog just last week.
    I was shocked when I read the awful news last night.
    As someone said before we thought she’d be immortal, she’d be in a way as we’ll still watch her on the screen.

  12. Alex

    I’m deeply suddened by Bea’s passing. It was a terribly sad, shocking news for me, for all of us. My deepest heartfelf condolancies, thoughts, prayers to her family, friends to everyone who truly loved Bea Arthur. She was an inspiration for so many people.

    As one of her huge loyal fan since always, our beloved fabolous Bea was such an important part in my life, in our lives. Legendary Bea Arthur was such a great, excellent, exceptional, super talent, actress, artist, woman; she was absolutely unique, extraordinary, amazing to me!

    I thank Fabulous Beloved Bea Arthur so much for everything she did here on earth, for all the joy, laughters, great emotions, for being so unique, so sensitive, brave, exceptional! I’m so glad to see so many absolutely lovely, wonderful thoughts, messages about beloved Bea! So many people loved her so much all over the world!

    She passed away, she flew away but her bright soul, her memory will always be alive with us, will live on forever! Thank you so much Fabulous Bea!

    Thank you very much Kev for this beautiful website, for what you did as huge Bea’s fan and web designer, through all these years.

    Alex from Italy

  13. ifelicious

    Nice post in memory of Bea. It is surprising news to hear she had cancer. I wonder for how long and what kind but respect her privacy at the same time.

  14. Terry Lord

    It feels like I have lost a dear and close friend, I watch golden girls every chance I get now everytime I see Bea i feel grief stricken


  15. Ashley

    And then there were two…

    When I first met Bea in Chicago, she was nothing short of a Broadway star… She was as witty in person as she was on television, and she cussed like a sailor… When heaven opens the gates, I hope you’ll make your grand entrance– finally getting to wear the white dress you’d always dreamed of…

    You’re more than a friend… hearts smile because of you…

  16. Jessica

    Kinda late on posting but Kevin, you know how I feel. And I agree wholeheartedly with everyone here.

    Rest in sweet peace, Bea. You will ALWAYS have a very special place in my heart.

    Springfield, IL


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