Bea passed away at her home on Saturday morning, April 25th, 2009 from cancer. She was the second "Golden Girl" to pass away, just nine months after Estelle Getty (who played her mother Sophia on the show).
Bea is probably best known by the public for his starring roles as the title character on Maude and as Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls.
The role of Dorothy on The Golden Girls was specifically written as a "Bea Arthur type," long before Bea even came and got the part.
Bea was the only regular cast member from the show The Golden Girls who didn't go on to star in the spinoff series The Golden Palace.
Bea is close friends with actress Angela Lansbury.
One of Bea's acting classmates at Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research was Marlon Brando.
Bea's best known trait is her husky voice.
Although her character loved eating it on The Golden Girls, Bea hates cheesecake.
Bea admits that one of her favorite shows on television is South Park. She thinks it's funny and unique.
Bea is Jewish.
Bea studied acting at Erwin Piscator's Dramatic Workshop of the New School.
In 1954, Bea made her theatrical debut as "Lucy Brown" in The Threepenny Opera, alongside John Astin and Charlotte Rae.
In 2000, Bea won an award of achievement from Emerson College's Musical Theater Society, in Boston.
Bea likes to collect antique furniture.
Bea is a long-time friend of actress Shirley MacLaine.
Bea admits that she does not like to watch her own performances on television or film.
Bea is a big supporter of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
Bea says that Sid Caesar is her idol.
Bea's first TV appearance was a 1951 episode of Kraft Television Theatre.
In 2002, Bea opened a show on Broadway entitled Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends..
Bea became a medical technologist before World War II.
Bea was one of the first female recruits for the U.S. Marine Corps.
Bea graduated from Linden Hall High School in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
Bea's son, Daniel Saks, was the set designer for the ABC comedy series Dharma and Greg.
Although born in New York City, Bea was raised in Maryland.
Bea took part in the Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson.
(October 2003) At the Savoy Theatre in London, Great Britain. Solo show created by Bea Arthur and Billy Goldenberg in collaboration with Charles Randolf Wright with production consultants Mark Waldrop and Richard Maltby Jr.
Bea is slightly over a year older then her TV mother on The Golden Girls, Estelle Getty. Bea was born on May 13, 1922, while Estelle was born on July 25, 1923. On The Golden Girls, Bea's character is in her 50s, while Estella's is in her 70s.
Beatrice Arthur: (about playing the title role on "Maude") It made me feel like a middle-aged Cinderella. It was one hell of a series, for pushing the envelope as far as it did. Episodes about abortion, alcoholism, rape...I was proud of it.
Beatrice Arthur: Look, I'm 5 foot 9, I have a deep voice, and I have a way with a line. What can I do about it? I can't stay home waiting for something different. I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting.
Beatrice Arthur: (about "The Golden Girls") Four elderly women living together in a house? It could never be. It could never happen. It was the first time that elderly people were seen as well-groomed and coiffed. They didn't smell bad. They had active sex lives. To this day, I'll wake up in the middle of the night, and I'll think of a line [from the show], and I'll be laughing so hard, I can't stop. It was wonderful.
Brian Forster, here playing the elf, is the grandson of actor Alan Napier, known to millions of fans of the TV series "Batman" as Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler. Brian Forster would later go on to play Chris Partridge #2 on The Partridge Family, replacing Jeremy Gelbwaks in that role.
Beatrice Arthur: After being in the business for such a long time, I've done everything but rodeo and porno.