She was a talented tough old gal who made a lot of people laugh and was a fine actress.
Arthur’s tall frame and signature deep voice first graced the small screen in an episode of “All in the Family.” She played Edith Bunker’s cousin Maude Finley – an unabashed Liberal, and foil to the reactionary Archie Bunker.
The role was so successful that the show’s producer, Norman Lear, gave the character her own series, and the hit show “Maude” was born in 1972.
“I was already 50 years old. I had done so much off-Broadway, on Broadway, but they said, `Who is that girl? Let’s give her her own series,”‘ Arthur told AP last year.
The show was a classic situation-comedy, but tackled serious feminist issues. In one episode, Maude had an abortion. Arthur won an Emmy Award for her role in 1977.
Arthur quit the show in 1978 as ratings fell. It wasn’t until several years later, in 1985, that she again returned to television in a major role: the retiree Dorothy Zbornak.
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