Biography

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" (1954) for one season in the 1950s. She first gained attention on stage 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" (1971) as Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's cousin, who was forever driving Archie Bunker crazy with her liberal politics. This guest appearance led to her own series, entitled "Maude" (1972), 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" (1972). During the show's run, Bea repeated the role of Vera Charles in the film version of Mame (1974), again directed by Gene Saks. She also appeared on none other than The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) (TV). In 1983, she started work on a new sitcom, "Amanda's" (1983), which was patterned after British situation comedy "Fawlty Towers" (1975), 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" (1972) and "The Golden Girls" (1985) 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 "The Golden Girls" (1985) was canceled in 1992, Bea had kept a low profile, appearing in only a couple of movies: For Better or Worse (1995) and Enemies of Laughter (2000). In 1999, she made a very successful and welcome Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Jerry Stiller (1999) (TV). She lives on a ranch in California. IMDb Mini Biography By: Tommy Peter

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" (1954) for one season in the 1950s. She first gained attention on stage 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" (1971) as Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's cousin, who was forever driving Archie Bunker crazy with her liberal politics. This guest appearance led to her own series, entitled "Maude" (1972), 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" (1972). During the show's run, Bea repeated the role of Vera Charles in the film version of Mame (1974), again directed by Gene Saks. She also appeared on none other than The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) (TV). In 1983, she started work on a new sitcom, "Amanda's" (1983), which was patterned after British situation comedy "Fawlty Towers" (1975), 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" (1972) and "The Golden Girls" (1985) 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 "The Golden Girls" (1985) was canceled in 1992, Bea had kept a low profile, appearing in only a couple of movies: For Better or Worse (1995) and Enemies of Laughter (2000). In 1999, she made a very successful and welcome Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Jerry Stiller (1999) (TV). She lives on a ranch in California. IMDb Mini Biography By: Tommy Peter

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 44

Birthday 1922-05-13

Day of Death 2009-04-25

Place of Birth New York City, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Beatrice Arthur

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2010 Uncle Bob as Herself (archive footage)
2007 Back to the Grind (1 episode)
2005 Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson as Herself
2004 Broadway's Lost Treasures II as Vera Charles (segment "Mame")
2003 The Terry and Gaby Show (1 episode)
2003 The Golden Girls: Lifetime Intimate Portrait Series
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age as Herself
2000 Enemies of Laughter as Paul's Mother
2000 Curb Your Enthusiasm (1 episode) as Larry's Mother
2000 Malcolm in the Middle (2 episodes)
1999 Beggars and Choosers (2 episodes)
1999 Futurama (2 episodes)
1999 Family Guy (1 episode)
1998 So Graham Norton (1 episode)
1997 The View (2 episodes)
1996 A Benefit Celebration: A Tribute to Angela Lansbury as Herself
1995 For Better or Worse as Beverly Makeshift
1994 Ellen (1 episode)
1994 Jerry Herman's Broadway at the Hollywood Bowl as Herself
1994 Intimate Portrait (1 episode)
1992 The Golden Palace (2 episodes) as Dorothy Hollingsworth
1988 My First Love as Jean Miller
1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday as Herself
1988 Empty Nest (1 episode)
1985 The Golden Girls (1 episode) (180 episodes) as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak (52 episodes) as Dorothy Zbornak
1984 a.k.a. Pablo (1 episode)
1983 Amanda's (13 episodes) as Amanda Cartwright
1982 Night of 100 Stars as Herself
1981 History of the World: Part I as Dole office clerk (uncredited)
1980 The Beatrice Arthur Special as Herself
1978 The Star Wars Holiday Special as Ackmena
1975 Saturday Night Live (2 episodes)
1974 Mame as Vera Charles
1972 Maude (141 episodes) as Maude Findlay
1971 All in the Family (2 episodes)
1970 Lovers and Other Strangers as Bea Vecchio
1962 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (2 episodes)
1956 Tony Awards (1 episode) as Herself - Host
1954 The George Gobel Show (4 episodes)
1954 Max Liebman Presents (1 episode)
1952 Omnibus (1 episode)
1951 Hallmark Hall of Fame (1 episode)
1948 Studio One (3 episodes)
1948 Bambi-Verleihung (1 episode) as herself

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