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Majestic tribute to Bea Arthur

September 15, 2009|Associated Press

They remembered with love -- and a lot of laughter -- the star of television's "Maude" and "The Golden Girls," a woman who also appeared in such hit musicals as "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Mame."

Memories of Bea Arthur filled Broadway's Majestic Theatre on Monday as friends, family and costars recalled the tall, baritone-voiced and supremely funny actress who died in April of cancer at age 86.

A large photo of Arthur dressed in a stylish black suit stared down during the lengthy celebration, which was hosted by Angela Lansbury, who first worked with Arthur in 1966 in "Mame," playing Mame Dennis opposite Arthur's tart-tongued Vera Charles.

Among the other participants were "Maude" producer Norman Lear, Rosie O'Donnell, "Fiddler" lyricist Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, and several of Arthur's television costars including Rue McClanahan and Adrienne Barbeau.

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