Bea Arthur dies at 86

April 26th, 2009 // 49 Comments

Bea Arthur of The Golden Girls passed away yesterday at 86, according to the AP:

The star of the TV shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had cancer, he said, but declined to give details.
“She was a brilliant and witty woman,” said Watt, who was Arthur’s personal assistant for six years. “Bea will always have a special place in my heart.”
Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series “All in the Family” as Edith Bunker’s outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur’s own series.
n recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” She was chairwoman of the Art Attack Foundation, a nonprofit performing arts scholarship organization, and was an honorary director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Arthur is survived by her sons and two granddaughters. No funeral services are planned.

Rest in Peace, Bea.


  1. adrienne

    whelp….see ya later

  2. It's Me Fuckers

    RIP Bea, condolences to the friends and family…

  3. clareargent

    she was wicked funny.

  4. jenny

    I absolutely loved her. The Golden Girls is one of my favorite shows ever! Very sad news.

  5. havenless

    She was wonderful and the Golden Girls is one of the funniest shows ever.

  6. Obi Wan

    thanks for the maany laughs. RIP

  7. Megabyte

    Golden Girls forever!

  8. Dirk Diggler

    Goodnight Funny Lady.

  9. Bella

    RIP Bea.

  10. Kelly

    R.I.P. Bea!!I love you on The Golden Girls. We have lost a wonderful actress and all around woman. You’re the best Bea!! Now you and Estelle can be together.

  11. Yank and wank they rhyme for a reason

    Ciao Bea thanks for the laffs, hope it was a peaceful death xxx
    Glad to see Fish said “dies” instead of that ridiculous euphemism “passed away” hate that stupid term, death is death not “passing away”.

  12. Wow, Bea Arthur and GM’s Pontiac division in the same week?

  13. alfalfa

    She looks better than Rihanna and Beyonce

  14. dew

    Condolences to Bea’s family. She’ll be remembered.

  15. smarg

    RIP. 86 and a full life should have no complaints.

    I always wondered how anyone could get a hard-on to fuck her, though.


  16. Why are they keeping the type of cancer secret! id like to know if it was her doing or unfortunate…

  17. carpetman

    I grew up watching the Golden Girls but started watching Maude a while back on dvd. That show is very funny. Highly recommended to those Xers and Yers (like me) who missed out on it.

  18. auntmarie

    I loved her.. this is sad news.

  19. Spurious

    Thank god.

  20. nicefrenchgurl

    awwww my deepest condoleances to her family
    indeed, the golden girls was such a wicked show
    it’s awesome that so many younger fans regret her
    but hey, she did have a good life, and was with her family in her final moments, im sure she’s gonna rock in heaven
    RIP Bea, we will miss you

  21. Rhialto

    I recognise her from The golden Girls.Condolences and may her loved ones find the strenght to overcome the loss.

  22. Katydidit

    Thank you for being a friend. RIP B

  23. amanda

    dorothy and sophia are together in shady pines
    RIP Bea

  24. do over

    #16 I’d like to know if you’re naturally a jerk or if you have to work at it.

  25. I used to watch the Golden Girls on daytime television, about 15 years ago… Bea Arthur was one of the funnier members of that cast

  26. Meh

    You were a real dame. Rest in peace.

  27. 'Frank' from 16th Floor

    Sad. This woman funny.
    (Who is ‘Rip’ ?)

  28. What are you talking about? what if shes been a smoker? dont you think revealing that info might help someone? why do you assume im being a jerk!

  29. do over

    #28 You don’t have to do anything to get cancer. You make it sound like she did something to deserve it. Who knows if she was a smoker or not? But if there’s anyone out there who doesn’t know the risk he’s living so deep in a cave nothing will help him, so why shouldn’t they respect her privacy. She was a wicked funny lady so don’t be a ghoul about it and let her RIP.

  30. mikeock

    Who gets all those fabulous calf-length sweaters?

  31. lori

    Awesome, talented lady and well loved.

  32. nopatienceformorons

    @the world according to ROUGH

    You wondered if the cancer was “her doing or unfortunate.”

    Is your stupidity your doing or unfortunate? All cancer is unfortunate, dumb fuck. Watch someone you love die from it, and then make some asshole comment like that.

  33. 29 and 32 youre too stupid to understand my comment! if you smoke, tan 24 seven in the sun without sunscreen, eat garbage that will clog up your insides…not getting early screening its your doing!

  34. Stay Golden

    Goodnight, Bea. You were funny and brilliant and beautiful.

  35. Jimbo

    1. Whether or not she smoked is irrelevant. “Nobody gets out of here alive.”
    2. Robin Williams was right. (Bea was a turn-off)
    3. The scandalous behavior was “Maude” having an abortion. When the childless wonder what happened to their Social Security, it may eventually dawn on them: they killed it.

  36. Deadpool

    M… My love…

  37. Fati

    I am so saddened by this.. Bea was a great actress. So naturally funny. Rest in peace, Dorothy..

  38. another one bites the dust

    wow that sucks. its always such a shock when a well known and liked celeb dies. she was so awesome with her deep man voice and crazy tall-funnyness. she was cool. i think all #16 was trying to say was, was it because of her lifestyle that she got cancer or did she just get cancer out of nowhere. it’s not such a crazy thing to ask, just the way it was worded was a kinda rude. not a big deal though.

  39. planned parenthood

    #35 The US population has already increased a huge amount since “Maude” was on in the 1970s and even with wars, abortion, contraception and disease it keeps on growing. It’s estimated by 2050 it’ll be up another 136 mill, so #3 makes no sense at all. Not everyone wants kids and not everyone should have them.

  40. …………………….THANKS & BYE BYE!!

  41. Empty Nest Isuzu Commercial Dude

    Two down, two to go. Muahahahahahahahahahaha!

  42. Jaffo

    Damn. There goes half of Jeffrey Ross’ act. If Abe Vigoda dies, Jeff is really fucked…

  43. Michelle

    I loved her on the Golden Girls. RIP Bea.

  44. april

    I loved Bea. The Golden Girls was one of my favorites as a child. I hope she and Estelle are making everybody in Heaven laugh as hard as we did. Someday all the “Golden Girls” will be together again. God willing Rue and Betty will have many more years though. It will be even sadder when they are all gone.

  45. Loved Bea

    I don’t think anyone “deserves” cancer, but I wonder if it was just some regular person who caught cancer from smoking too much would you nay sayers think otherwise? For examples smoking has become very much a topic of contempt with smokers being called all names in the book and people saying “well if they catch cancer it’s their problem because they smoked”, however people tend to have more sympathy for someone they love/admire. Kind of a double standard I think the person who said “deserved” was off the mark, but I too would like to know what kind of cancer it was. There does not seem to be much on it, I read somewhere it was lung, but it was not confirmed. At one of her last tv appearances (right after Estelle Getty died) she was shown with Rue and Betty and Bea looked pretty skinny and fragile. Her death came as a total shock. She was always a private person, I didn’t know she was sick and I don’t think the type of cancer will ever be revealed.

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  47. I am sorry to hear that.

  48. shiningbright

    People have wondered for years if Bea wore a bag – had bowel cancer, hence all the long line cardis and loose jumpers etc.The person who asked – what kind of cancer was it ? had a relevant question.If it was bowel cancer , that would give people who have it hope. ( she had a long life and lived with it )
    It would also explain the lack of explanation re her cancer.

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