Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shut up, Rose!

I know this is just another gay blog posting yet another tribute to the late, great Bea Arthur, but indulge me.

My first encounter with Ms. Arthur was on the Original Cast Recording of Fiddler on the Roof. She played Yenta, and she was amazing. And I'm not sure which came first (though with a little digging on IMDb, I'm sure I could find out), but I remember her turn as Vera in the almost awful 1974 film version of Mame with Lucille Ball. She cracked me up. "God, that moon is bright!"

And then there's "Maude." A loud-mouthed liberal grand-dame of Long Island, Maude addressed pot, birth control, abortion and any number of very controversial subjects in the 70's. I don't think I ever missed an episode of this hilarious "All in the Family" spin-off.

Of course, she will probably be best be remembered as Dorothy on "The Golden Girls." Dorothy was the smart one, caring for her post-stroke mother Sophia (the late Estelle Getty), her addled best friend, Rose (the amazingly funny Betty White) and the slutty cougar, Blanche ("Maude" alumnus, Rue McClanahan) in the Florida home they shared. More recently she appeared as a befuddled baby sitter on "Malcolm in the Middle", voiced the Femputer on Matt Groening's brilliant "Futurama" and played Larry David's mother on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Her performance credits go all the way back to a 1959 appearance on "The George Gobel Show." One could only wish for such an expansive career.

Here then, is the best clip I could find that expresses how I feel tonight. What'll we do, indeed?

Rest in Peace, Bea. You will be missed.

More, anon.

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