Sad news about the passing of the legendary actress Bea Arthur.
Not only was Ms. Arthur one of my favorite actresses ever, she was a true inspiration to me - in every chapter of growing up.
When I was feeling alone as an only child during those years when I had a new world thrust on me; complete with a step-dad and disruption; she was my Mother. Reliable and constant.
In the 80s, when I was spinning out of control amidst a sea of empty nightlife promises and gone-too-soon friendships, she was there. Reliable and constant.
In the late 1980s I had a chance to attend a PETA Rock Against Fur event at NYC's Palladium nightclub. The evening featured performances from The B-52s, Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich, Sugercubes and more - and was guest hosted by (among others) Bea Arthur and Betty White.
While backstage in this massive VIP lounge; I got into line for the evening's buffet dinner. After a moment, I realized that BEA FRIGGIN ARTHUR was right behind me, with friends. Naturally it was her voice that gave it away.
I was speechless with glee. I turned to her and proceeded to verbally vomit some praise like any good star-struck fan. She listened and held my hand and said that the pleasure was all hers.
Swept away is an understatement!
The line moved slowly and as we reached for plates I was truly beside myself, so we started to fill it with veggies and such and came across three large bowls - each with some colorful form of paste (this was my introduction to the Vegan world!)
So there we are, me and Bea - scooping polite ladles of colorful slop onto our bowls - me wondering just what the fuck this shit was - and Bea trying hard to keep her composure ... when she leans into me and whispers; in the classic baritone voice....
"I'm all for animal rights, but I could just die for some chicken!"
I let out the biggest guffaw and from that point on I felt as if I truly connected with Ms. Arthur.
So thanks Bea - for not only "being a friend" - but for being.
You'll be missed.