Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Golden Woman

I’m talking of course about Bea Arthur. And what a golden woman she was. Most people remember her the most for being Dorothy on the Golden Girls. But I remember her first television role of Maude Findlay. And what a role it was.

Maude started out as a guest star on the All in the Family. She was very much Archie’s equal and the sparring between these two was priceless. Then Maude was spun off into it’s own series. It is hard to imagine today just how ground breaking All in the Family was and then Maude.

A scene from All in the Family:

Maude was truly a portrait of a new woman, every inch a feminist and every inch a liberal. She reminded me very much of my mother. My mother was much shorter and had a somewhat higher voice than Maude’s but she was just as liberal. And since I grew up in a very conservative suburb of Chicago, it was great to see on television a liberal point of view. The issues covered were ground breaking. Probably no more so than the abortion episode. Many stations refused to run it at all. It is ironic that just a few days ago the Food and Drug Administration authorized the morning after pill for women aged 17. My how things have changed.

A scene from Maude:

As much as I enjoyed Maude, the Golden Girls well I still watch reruns of it today. I still laugh out loud even though I know most of jokes. It was just soooo well written and the acting well the acting was just incredible. Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McClanahan and Betty White what more do you need to say. The shows are simply hysterical and poignant at the same time.

Picture it . . . four older women to headline a sitcom (actually it was only three Estelle Getty’s character was only supposed to have a limited number of appearances but the audience went nuts over her and she was written into the show) on NBC against a Robert Wagner drama on ABC. How could they possible beat Robert Wagner. Bet you can’t name the show on ABC. Golden Girls went on to clean up on Saturday nights in the ratings and was nominated for 65 Emmys.

Here's the final scene from the show:

A couple more clips:

A blooper reel:

This is the theme song that Dorothy and Rose wrote for Miami:

Bea did you have style!

1 comment:

Arthur Schenck said...

"Maude" reminded me of your mother, too—except your mother didn't wear those goofy long vest-like things or high necked tops. Still, I know what you mean about the politics.