Thursday, May 13, 2010

In Memoriam: Bea Arthur

Except in rare instances, one never knows the true depth of feeling towards a public figure until they've died; so while I'd long suspected I was not alone in my fervent admiration for Bea Arthur, until her passing in April 2009 I had no way of confirming it. The outpouring of love and memories which accompanied the news only hinted at the legacy of laughter that was her career...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketHad she just created Maude Findlay (the unapologetically liberal namesake of Norman Lear's classic 1970s sitcom Maude) or Dorothy Zbornak (the smart, sarcastic substitute schoolteacher* in the equally classic 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls) over the course of her career, her enduring fame would have been assured. The fact that she created both, along with dozens of others, is one thing; that they were created by her after an age when most actresses are being sent out to pasture is quite another. Imbuing them with heart as much as outrage, and also warmth and sexuality, is an ability few others possess - and one which Bea Arthur possessed in abundance.

During a recent appearance at the Comedy Central roast of Pamela Anderson, Arthur proved she's still got it; providing the evening with a dramatic reading from one of Anderson's novels - Star Struck - she gave as good as she got. It would be among her last public appearances, and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she would have continued getting better and better until such time as her final curtain rang down, which indeed she did...

* I dare you to say that five times fast without needing to squeegee your monitor afterwards!

share on: facebook

No comments: