Bea Arthur Biography
Though she was successful on stage and in films, Bea Arthur was best known for her roles on two ground-breaking television sitcoms, Maude and The Golden Girls. Born Bernice Frankel in New York City, Arthur said that she changed her name to Beatrice because it would look good on a marquee. Her last name came from her first husband, Robert Alan Aurthur. In "Maude," Arthur played a strong-willed, politically liberal woman in her mid-40s who lives with her husband and divorced adult daughter. The show, which aired from 1972 to 1978, took on the social issues of the day, including feminism and Roe v. Wade. "The Golden Girls" was about four older women living in Miami, Florida. Arthur won Emmy awards for both roles. She died of cancer on April 25, 2009.