Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Broadway to Dim Its Lights for Bea



(New York, NY)  April 28, 2009 -- The Broadway community mourns the loss of  Bea Arthur, who died on Saturday at age 86.

The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory on Tuesday, April 28th, at exactly 8:00pm for one minute.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, commented, “We are so fortunate that Bea Arthur’s portrayals of memorable roles graced our Broadway stages. With a career spanning so many forms of entertainment, there is no doubt she will be missed by all.”

Before she became an iconic Emmy®-Award winning television star, Bea Arthur received a Tony Award® for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 1966 for her performance as Angela Lansbury’s best friend Vera Charles in the original Broadway production of Jerry Herman’s musical Mame, directed by Gene Saks, her husband at that time.

Ms. Arthur’s Broadway career began in 1955 with the original musical Plain and Fancy and continued with roles in Seventh Heaven and Nature’s Way. Among her Broadway credits, she played Yente the Matchmaker in the 1964 premiere of Fiddler on the Roof and appeared in Woody Allen’s The Floating Lightbulb in 1981.

In 2002, she returned to Broadway starring in Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends, a collection of stories and songs based on her life and career. The show was nominated for a Tony Award® for Best Special Theatrical Event.

In a career spanning seven decades, the celebrated actress, comedienne, singer and writer became a television star as the title character, Maude Findlay, on the 1970's sitcom Maude, and as Dorothy Zbornak on the 1980's sitcom The Golden Girls. She won Emmy® Awards for both roles.

She is survived by two sons and two granddaughters.

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The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry.  The League’s 600-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 240 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry. Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. Visit www.BroadwayLeague.com.

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