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Bea Arthur, April 25, age 86: The beloved Arthur had an amazing career that spanned decades and many media. She worked steadily in the theater from the late '50s through the '90s, debuting the role of Yente the Matchmaker in the original production of "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1964. In 1971, she was asked by Norman Lear to appear on his wildly successful "All in the Family" as Archie Bunker's cousin Maude. The character was so popular that Lear created the spinoff "Maude," which tackled verboten topics including abortion. In 1985 she starred in "The Golden Girls," which also became a huge hit. Asked if she worried about being typecast as an outspoken straight-woman, she said, "Look, I'm 5 feet 9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line. What can I do about it? I can't stay home waiting for something different. I think it's a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting." All the luckier for her fans.
From Crowd Ignite