I should have written this yesterday, but I’m finally feeling better. No more of this ridiculous fever that had me laid up.
Bea Arthur was a remarkable actress. Able to deliver a dry zinger like nobody else, I first saw her (like most people of my generation) on Golden Girls. I loved watching that show, though obviously, 99% of the humor went right over my head. Rose was daffy, Blanche liked men chasing her, Sophia was crazy and wise… and Dorothy was witty, vulnerable and just… real.
As I grew up, I appreciated the role more. Being the straight man (woman) of the show, she didn’t get the bulk of the jokes- but she was the queen of the zinger. She took that part and made Dorothy seem so real that she seemed just as real a person as my grandmother- from her vulnerability (and anger and rage) from Stan’s affair and the difficulty of maintaining a semblance of a relationship for her children, to the real love you felt between all the women. Especially between Dorothy and Sophia, regardless of how many times Dorothy threatened to put Sophia in a home, or how little Sophia told Dorothy she loved her (in those exact words).
She died at home, surrounded by family, presumably from battling cancer. I can only hope that those last moments were filled with nearly as much warmth and joy (strange to say, I know) as she gave all those who watched her perform through her career.