Did you know this “Golden Girl” was a Marine?

Posted On: Monday, 31 October 2016

For those of us who grew up watching “The Golden Girls,” we’re quite familiar with Bea Arthur’s character Dorothy. The actress/comedian not only brought that outspoken character to life, she was well known for the title character in “Maude.”

However, many people don’t know that Arthur was a veteran, having served 30 months in the U.S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. As one of the first females to serve in that capacity, Arthur took on various responsibilities. During World War II, she worked as a typist and truck driver. She was honorably discharged in September 1945.

The outspoken actress, who died at the age of 86 in 2009, apparently had a mouth on her back then, as well. In an appraisal about her personality, she was described as “argumentative” and “over aggressive.” The Marine who interviewed her went on to add this comment: “Officious, but probably a good worker if she has her own way!”

Here are a few more facts about Arthur:

  • She won Emmy Awards for her roles in both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.”
  • She also performed in opera, with her 1994 debut at the Metropolitan Opera featuring her portrayal of the Duchess of Krakenthorp in La fille du regiment.
  • The first of her two marriages was to a fellow Marine, Robert Alan Aurthur. He later worked as a screenwriter, television and film producer. She kept his surname but modified the spelling.

ALA Mission

In the spirit of Service, Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.