Maureen Arthur, ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ Actress, Dead at 88

by Emily Morgan

Maureen Arthur, who starred on Broadway and on the silver screen as Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, has sadly made it on the list as another celebrity death in 2022. She recently passed away at 88.  According to her brother, she died on June 15 of natural causes at her home in Beverly Hills after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. 

She is well known for playing Hedy in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which debuted on Broadway in 1961. It would have a successful run of more than 1,400 performances, seven Tony Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize.

Arthur also portrayed a nudie-magazine cover girl during her heyday with Don Knotts in 1969’s The Love God? She also played a divorced woman opposite Bob Hope in How to Commit Marriage that same year. 

Born on April 15, 1934, in San Jose, California, she was raised in St. Louis. As the daughter of a movie theater operator, she got her glimpse of show business during vaudeville nights.

While studying theater at Northwestern, she won a national talent contest on CBS’ The Garry Moore Show. As a result, she held a weeklong residency at the Palace in New York. She also had a chance to compete on the TV talent program “Chance of a Lifetime.” 

Arthur also made a fantastic impression on Marilyn Monroe and studied drama at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York. She was a frequent guest on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show. She made her onscreen acting debut in Hot Rod Gang in 1958.

Maureen Arthur remembered for iconic Hollywood roles, work with charity

She also appeared on such TV shows as “Whirlybirds,” “Bourbon Street Beat,” and “Richard Diamond, Private Detective.” In addition, she was a regular on NBC’s “The Jan Murray Show.”

After acting in the How to Succeed movie, Arthur returned to the Broadway stage in 1967 to star with Bob Dishy and Linda Lavin in  Something Different. 

In her prime, Arthur also starred in several movies throughout the 1960s, such as Thunder AlleyThe Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz, Killers Three, and A Man Called Dagger. 

Some may have also seen her as Zelka in the “Happy Days” spinoff, “Mork & Mindy.” In addition, she made cameos on “Perry Mason,” “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” Sanford and Son,” and “Matlock.”

Arthur was married to George William Weidler, who was also Doris Day’s second husband. Arthur and Weidler were married from 1957 until their 1970 divorce. She later married Aaron Ruben, who produced “The Andy Griffith Show” and was responsible for the “Gomer Pyle” spinoff until his death at age 95.

Off-screen, she acted as the president of the Variety Club of Southern California children’s charity for several years. “She spent tireless hours and traveled the country for telethons to raise money for them,” her brother said. “If there was one thing she would want in her obituary, that would be it.”