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April 25, 2009


Thank you for a lovely tribute to an actress that I loved. I was a big fan of the Golden Girls and would still watch them if I found them on TV in syndication! I was not familiar with Maude or Bea Arthur's stage career but it doesn't surprise me. She had the most incredible voice and reminded me of my mother in stature and some facial expressions.

By way of 6 virtual degrees of separation, I used to know a man who was married for a time to a woman who was best friends with Adrienne Barbeau (high school, if I recall correctly) until AB became too famous to have plebs for friends--according to her old friend, naturally! What a curious web unites people in the world.


Thanks for a good post on Bea Arthur. I was driving across Ohio today when I heard that she had passed, and like you was surprised that she was 86......I guess I did expect her to last forever!

I was sad to see that today too, Danny. I had just sent her the "Betty Garrett's 90th Birthday Bash" letter---I had no idea she was ill....!
I saw her in "MAME" back on Broadway...And it was FABULOUS....It was really such a shame that they did NOT get to do the film together!
I am amazed that you have kept all these letters and postcards, etc from the Stars you have written to---You must have a HUGE file and you sure are very organized, my dear!
BY THE WAY: Did you ask Matthew about the DVD

I forgot to say, I am unable to see ANY Videos on any blogs--Including my own--I can see them on YouTube, but not anywhere else. It is so Frigging aggrivating...I cannot tell you. Grrrrrrrr!
I don't know why this started happening---And it's NOT the Adobe Flash Player thing....It is something else!

My brother and I saw Bea's one-woman show in Scottsdale, AZ, in Feb. 2006, and are so glad now we took the time to do that during what was, for me, a busy business trip. I think that was one of her last performances of it. Ken was the one who called me late yesterday from his office in Colorado to tell me that Bea had died and we had a nice chat remembering her wonderful career and our going to her one-woman show just three years ago.

Bea's character Maude was such an influence on me and surely played an important role in forming my own progressive opinions. I would love to watch those shows again from an adult perspective and see if I feel as you do about the Walter/Maude relationship.

I hadn't realized that Bea was in Three Penny Opera with Lotte Lenya (!), whom she cited as a major influence, although I certainly knew a lot about her career on stage and recall Brett Somers talking about knowing Bea way back then.

Goodbye, Bea. You will be missed by many. Another "childhood icon" gone.

Oh Danny. I was just going to sit down and write about Bea while I found your perfect tribute. The clips are priceless - as are your memories and correspondence. Thanks, as always, Sue.

You can tell it was the 70s because Eisenhower's likeness was sent to the federal backwaters of the 8 cent post card stamp.

I loved Bea. The only tv show I would watch as a child was Maude. My mom and I stayed up on schoolnights to watch the Maude re-runs at midnight. Special times special memories... Just me and my mom and Maude fending off a cruel patriarchal world. My parents were in the middle of a beastly divorce and Maude gave me hope... and I laughed and felt better.

Dear Danny,
Thanks for the very nice tribute.
I am someone who was transformed from hating Bea Arthur as Maude, to loving her as Dorothy.
And, I'm probably the only person alive who thinks that Angela Lansbury has a dreadful singing voice. LOL.

But Gordon, I trust you'll agree that Lansbury's voice is a thousand times better than Lucille Ball's and that casting Lucy in the movie version of "Mame" made for one of the worst stage-to-screen transfers in history. Bea Arthur reprised her role in the film only because her husband was directing and he talked her into it. She later called the film an unmitigated disaster.

That's some number performed by Rock and Bea. Maybe it was before recreational drugs were bad for us. Sort of like what Woody Allen said about red meat and sunshine. They were healthy 40 years ago. Thank you for the laugh-out-loud post...especially the lines you recited from the ghetto show.

The only childhood letters that i wrote were to President Johnson and (Chicago Tribune columnist) Bob Greene. If only i had reached out to my tv mentors: mary tyler moore and bea arthur. they showed us indy girls the way out of the 70s. great post, danny!

Danny...Thanks so much for your LOVELY comment about my photographs...I have been taking pictures forever! And back in the 1970's, after I got my first Pentax SLR, I took probably 1000 slides of Larry's Rose Garden, among other things...I am unable to scan them in, or I would! There are some stunners, if I do say so, myself...Close, Close, Close...And then I did a whole bunch of Ron Rifkin'd English Garden...Those too, were some fabulous pictures...More Slides...Same Problem about scanning. I need a REALLY Fine Scanner specifically for Slides and Transparencies.

Someone from your comments came to my blog to suggest I turn off my "Pop Up Blocker" and then I would be able to see the Videos. I did it. It didn't work. I have a Computer Wizard but he cannot remember what it is I need to do....UGH!!!!! So, thank you, whomever you are for the suggestion...But, it is not the answer to this Video Problem

Danny - Thanks for the Bea Arthur tribute. She was always one of my personal favorites. I was so sad to hear that she had passed away, I will definitely miss her. I am jealous that you have a letter from her. As an aside, didn't she remind you of Aunt Toni (or vice -versa? They were both broads and I love that! BTW, I am sure you are wondering how I have time for this , and the answer is very simple. I don't and I guess I am procrastinating. See you soon, thanks for the post.

You never cease to disappoint us, Danny. When I heard that Bea Arthur had passed away, I anticipated a blog post of yours would come our way.

Danny Miller: Capturing the Pulse of Life (and its opposite)!

I'm so sad she's gone, but she did have a great run. She was one of the few decent role models I had growing up in the 70's.

What a great post Danny. I don't think I've seen an episode of Maude since it first aired and I was a little kid. I do, now, remember Walter telling her to "sit" and thinking nothing of it. Now I'm a little horrified.

I don't know if stars write letters to fans anymore. I hope they do.

Again, thanks for the sad, but wonderful post.

I must say, you never disappoint!!! Your writing is so wonderful. While sitting shiva in soho(my Mom died 4/17), I've been checking in on your writing. Although I hated the nazi photos, I recall being overly concerned about his birthday at a time when i was not held together tight. But that was a very long time ago, and now
remember columbine instead. I can't look objectively at any of his photos...too much pain surrounds his those black spirits in the movie, Ghost (can't recall if that's the title with Patrick Swaysie,Demi Moore and Whoopi.

OOPs, I forgot to tell you that I enjoyed that duet with Rock Hudson immensely. Where did that come from? I want to play it for everyone I know. I'll have to direct them to your blog, it's that good. When I'm in upstate NY, my dial-up prevents me from seeing your videos. This summer, I can imagine myself driving to Panera Bakery every week to see videos on my laptop.

thanks for the post. though foolish on my part, bea is one of the celebrities that i chose to, "make my own." i know there's no sense to it, but like lots of people, certain entertainers have "spoken" to me & i made them mine. i was going to post a link to a piece of video from the pamela anderson roast from a few years ago. i'd put it on my facebook page, but when i just went back to retrieve it, i found that the video has been pulled because of copyright. too bad. i'm sure you've seen it....bea, reading filthy, filthy garbage from anderson's "novel". utterly amazing, what an amazing performer arthur was. (LOVE those letters from the girls! a teeny bit green, i am.)

When I heard that Bea Arthur had died, I immediately thought "Danny will surely write about it on his blog". Danny, you and I couldn't be more different. I am a WASP (Southern Baptist at that) born and raised in the great state of Tennessee, but I really enjoy reading your blog.

Years ago I was a talent agent and too "sophisticated" for fan letters, until I saw Dame Maggie Smith on stage. I wrote a thank you note and surprisingly, I got a personal handwritten note back. I'm not surprised you got one from Bea. Class is class.

Nice post. particularly like the Rock Hudson/Bea Arthur piece of the puzzle -- but,no warm cuddly memories of Marilyn Chambers or Sable Starr who also passed this month? Both stars and icons in their own ways.

Hi, Danny...

Thanks for this most excellent tribute to the one and only Beatrice Arthur. I saw her in February 2006 at her one-woman show in Los Angeles, and had the privilege of meeting her afterwards. She was most gracious and asked if I had REALLY enjoyed the show and if I thought it was still relevant. I informed her that of course it had been and thanked her for the endless hours and years of laughter that she had been responsible for giving me! She was a gem that evening and I took a wonderful photo with her that is framed in my office and always will be!! Again, thanks for having this site...I will check it regularly!

-Jay Burr, 40
San Diego, CA

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