I can’t let another day go by without paying tribute to the Matron Saint of The House of Mirth, my beloved Ms. Beatrice Arthur.
It’s ridiculous, I know, but I’m so sad. Call it projection, transference, whatever you want, all I know is I loved her, and I’m sorry she’s gone
Obituaries all over the news outlets list her accolades: an amazing talent who both adored and was frustrated by her singular talents, Bea was unstoppable. She won a Tony for Mame and multiple Emmys for her work on television. She elevated that crappy Star Wars Holiday Special into a yearned-for classic; she made Maude divine like no one else could; she truly made that other show Golden.
For me, she was my pretend tv grandma; as silly as it sounds, it was like she was a glimpse of what my own beloved Grandma J might have been like if she’d lived beyond my eighth year. Tall and stately, ready with a zinger and a hug. I was so taken with her that I’ve seen the film version of Mame (1974) dozens of times, Enemies of Laughter (2000) twice, her guest stint on Malcolm in the Middle too many times; I own and have listened to the CD of her one-woman show over and over, and can quote more of Dorothy Zbornak’s lines than I care to admit. I can even spell “Zbornak” without looking it up.
She was the greatest.
I don’t know what’ll I do, Ms. Bea, except be ever grateful for you.