Bea Arthur: Golden

Bea Arthur was one of our all-time favorite TV stars. We – along with much of America – loved the plain-spoken women she played on her two big hits, Maude and The Golden Girls. On the third anniversary of her death, we're re-watching the shows and enjoying the way she told it like it is.

Arthur's TV success began with an appearance on All in the Family. The producers loved her so much that they created a new show just for her: Maude. The show wasn't afraid to take on the hot-button issues of the day, and Maude always put her own tough-as-nails, feminist spin on them. The episode dealing with Maude's pregnancy – and her decision to have an abortion – is legendary for its frankness and its fearless take on a hotly controversial topic.

A few years after Maude ended its run, Arthur moved on to her next great sitcom success, The Golden Girls. Once again, she played a woman who wasn't afraid to speak her mind. Dorothy Zbornak was the queen of the pithy comeback.

We're missing the Golden Girl today… and we'd like to "thank her for being a friend."