John Cleese: "I remember at a party I met these chaps from Viacom, who said they were working on a new Fawlty Towers. My ears pricked up at the sound of cash registers and said, 'That's wonderful, are you going to change anything?'. They said, 'Well we have changed one thing, we've written Basil out'. And that's absolutely true, they took Basil and Sybil's lines and gave them all to Bea Arthur." The resulting effort was a 1983 ABC series called Amanda’s By the Sea which could charitably be described as a fiasco. [more inside]
Though she publicly denied it, the records show that Bea Arthur was a truck driver in the Marine Corps.
Rue McClanahan has died of a stroke at age 76. She was known and loved as Blanche Deveraux on the Golden Girls. She has joined costars Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty in the great beyond, where presumably, they serve cheesecake.
"Wookiees and Bea Arthur? Luke Skywalker and Harvey Korman? Singing and dancing and storm troopers? If George Lucas had his way, no one would remember, but yes, Virginia, there was a Star Wars Holiday Special."Indeed there was (Google video). [Holiday Special previously on metafilter: 1, 2] Bonus Star Wars audition footage below the fold. [more inside]
Bea Arthur has died. She is best known for her portrayal of Maude Findlay, Edith Bunker's cousin on All in the Family. Her character spawned a CBS spin-off -- Maude. In 1985 Arthur was cast as Dorothy Zbornak in the hit sitcom the Golden Girls. Bea -- thank you for being a friend.
Sniff, Swig, Puff and your cares are temporarily gone. [youtube]
I *heart* Bea Arthur:
Bea Arthur sparked a security scare at Logan Airport in Boston this week when she tried to board a Cape Air flight with a pocketknife in her handbag. The "Golden Girls" star, now 81, was flagged by a Transportation Security Administration agent, who discovered the knife - a strict no-no following 9/11. "She started yelling that it wasn't hers and said 'The terrorists put it there,' " a fellow passenger said. "She kept yelling about the 'terrorists, the terrorists, the terrorists.' " After the blade was confiscated, Arthur took a keyring from her bag and told the agent it belonged to the "terrorists," before throwing it at them. As she boarded the plane, she told the TSA employees, "We're all doomed."Kuro5hin offers a novel proposition: Bea for President!