This post was originally an episode of The Old Time Review Daily Podcast. In each edition, Jamie Dyer spoke off the cuff about a famous person, film or song for up to three minutes. The following is a transcription, which has been cleaned up to remove any hesitation and some repetition. Where possible, the subject has been expanded on from the original broadcast.
This is the Old Time Review Daily Podcast for the 13th of May 2021, and this is Jamie Dyer speaking to you from the UK. On this day in 1922, American actress and comedian Bea Arthur was born. In this country, Bea is possibly most well known for her role as Dorothy on the 80s and 90s sitcom, The Golden Girls.
But, if you’re not entirely familiar with the rest of her work, there is a lot to go through. So, I’ll try and get through it as quickly as I can, and I’m probably not even covering all the bases here. Bea served as a Marine during the Second World War and went on to have a career in the theatre. She won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 1966 for playing Vera Charles in Mame. Then she went on to play on television as Maude Findlay on the 1970s sitcom All in the Family. It was the American version of Till Death Do Us Depart, and that was so popular with everybody involved that it spawned a spin-off called Maud which ran between 1972 and 1978; I don’t think that show, its predecessor has ever been seen in this country, in the UK,
I think is a shame that we only know her for that one role in The Golden Girls. I reckon those other shows are just as good because Bea’s contribution to The Golden Girls was exceptional; She’s deadpan, plays very well off of Betty White, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan, and can be quite cutting at times. Her expressions were also fantastic. So yeah, this is me calling for more work of Bea Arthur to be seen in this country!
So that is American actress and comedian Bea Arthur who was born on this day in 1922 and that’s your Old Time Review Daily for the 13th of May 2021. What are your memories of Bea Arthur?