The Golden Girls Star Bea Arthur And Angela Lansbury Had An Amazing Friendship
The late Dame Angela Lansbury, who passed away today at the age of 96, had a career that spanned much of the length of Hollywood’s history. With credits on stage and screen going back to the 1940s, Lansbury gave the world decades’ worth of great performances. Along the way, she also made some enduring friendships that lasted nearly as long.
Notably, Dame Lansbury was friends with another small-screen legend, Bea Arthur, from the 1960s until the latter’s death in 2009. They made an excellent, complementary comedic team: while Irish-British Lansbury was often seen as elegant and refined, while Arthur played brassier characters like the eponymous feminist hero of “Maude” and sarcastic substitute teacher Dorothy in “The Golden Girls.” But according to Arthur, it was Lansbury who had the bawdier sense of humor behind closed doors.
In 2003, Arthur spoke to The Independent about the origins of her friendship with the star, whom she met on Broadway when the pair were cast opposite one another in the musical “Mame” in 1966. “She was a class act and a real joy to work with,” Arthur shared. “When I first met her I thought I was meeting this patrician, classically trained actor, but she has a mouth like a longshoreman. No kidding. She loved telling dirty limericks.” Arthur also revealed that it was Lansbury who taught her the song “What Can You Get A Nudist For Her Birthday,” a number the actress called “really saucy.”