Bea Arthur was a respected actress on both stage and screen. She appeared in Broadway shows long before she portrayed Dorothy Zbornak on the beloved sitcom “The Golden Girls” or Maude on “All In the Family” and “Maude.” Among her list of Broadway credits were being part of the original casts of such iconic shows as “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Mame.”
Bea Arthur was the real deal. And, thanks to her success as an actress, she was a multimillionaire at the time of her death. According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, the legendary actress had accumulated a net worth of approximately $25 million when she died in 2009.
Arthur was born on May 13, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. Her given name was Bernice Frankel. Her parents were Philip and Rebecca Frankel. Together, the couple had three children. Bea was the middle child of the three.
According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Bea Arthur’s family moved to Massachusetts when the future actress was only 11 years old. She would go on to graduate from an all-girls high school in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, Lititz is an Amish community. Following high school, Arthur went to study for one year in Virginia at Braxton College.
Did you know that decades before she was an imposing force on “The Golden Girls” Bea Arthur was a United States Marine? Well, she was. And, she was one of the first women to do so. According to the article, Arthur served during World War II in 1943 as part of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Her stint lasted for two years. She spent her service in North Carolina.
Bea Arthur of ‘The Golden Girls’ Studied Acting at Prestigious New York School
Jump forward to 1947 and Bea Arthur is studying at the famous New School in New York City. This was one of the most highly respected schools of its day. This education led to small roles in the New York theater scene. Eventually, she was cast in “Fiddler on the Roof” during the early 1960s.
The show was a huge hit on Broadway. In 1966, she was cast alongside Angela Lansbury in “Mame” on Broadway. She was nominated for a Tony for her performance in this show.
A television career soon came calling for Bea Arthur. She was cast as Maude, a cousin of Edith Bunker’s on the legendary sitcom “All In the Family.” Her work as a guest role on the show was such a success that she was given her own show. That show was, of course, “Maude.” This sitcom debuted in 1971, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com. The show stayed on the air until 1978.
Then, in 1985 Bea Arthur began her tenure on the beloved sitcom “The Golden Girls.” She played substitute teacher Dorothy Zbornak. The character lives with her sassy mother and two roommates in Miami. The cast also included Betty White, Estelle Getty, and Rue McClanahan.