'Imperious' Arthur Was a 'Thunderbolt'
Comedian broke new ground in Maude , Golden Girls
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2009 5:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bea Arthur may not have been television’s most iconic actress, “but no woman ever made so many people so happy by being so imperious, so decisive, so just plain bossy,” Ken Tucker writes in Entertainment Weekly. No one defied or upstaged her on Maude or Golden Girls, but no one “resented her for that. Indeed, this was the source of her thunderbolt comic power.”

A theater actor, Arthur broke into television on All in the Family and “became the center of an age where sitcoms actually produced political firestorms,” Associated Content writes. A political foe of Archie Bunker, her character lived on in Maude, where "the famed 'abortion' episode" was a television "landmark." Arthur “allowed you to both identify with her and to admire her,” Tucker concludes. “There was a lot to admire.”