April 25th was a sad day indeed and although I wouldn’t want Mrs. Winston to know it, I still haven’t quite recovered from the news that the much beloved Bea Arthur has passed on. She was eight-six years young and, I am not ashamed to admit, I had quite the boyhood crush on the old gal. I don’t know if it was her deep voice, her liberal outlook or her razor sharp wit, but I really had a thing for Maude. I remember when she appeared in “All in the Family” as Archie’s perfect foil and never missed an episode of “Maude.” Even then, she was ahead of her time, playing a thrice divorced single woman with an actual opinion. I often fantasized that my future wife would be just like her. I was a little disappointed when she signed on to do the “Golden Girls” as my fantasy was somewhat dashed by geriatric nature of the show. Fortunately, those old gals still had a lot of fire in them so my image of Bea remained intact. I did watch that show in secret however, since I had grown up enough to realize that others might view my Bea Arthur fantasy as a little weird.
She had a long, glorious career that included stage and screen, winning a Tony and two Emmys. Bea was not only funny and smart; the woman could act and was never afraid to poke fun at herself. I know her friends and family will miss her, but she will also be missed by me—her biggest fan.
I am too broken up to include a marketing message, but instead leave you with not one, but two quotes that bring a smile through the tears. Dr. Arthur Harmon says to Maude, [Looking at her black eye] “If the ‘Our Gang’ comedies ever come back, you could be the dog.” Not one to be out quipped, she retorts, “And if Mister Ed ever comes back, there’d be a part for you. I’m not talking about the part that talks.” And as the ever-sarcastic Dorothy, “You’ll have to excuse my mother. She suffered a slight stroke a few years ago which rendered her totally annoying.”
Rest in peace dear Bea. You will always hold a special place in my heart.