Bea Arthur, Television’s Ballsiest Broad

Bea Arthur passed away over the weekend at the age of 86. Sadness. Everything I needed to know about scathing wit I learned from Dorothy Zbornak, who was my constant companion on TV throughout kidhood. “The Golden Girls” were funny and fierce, not letting age get in the way of a good time. The ladies sipped frozen drinks and laughed at all the curveballs life threw at them a decade before Carrie & Co. sexed up the city. After the jump, a look back at our favorite Bea Arthur moments.As the deadpan Dorothy on “The Golden Girls,” Arthur was the mistress of the one-liner, a classy dame who did not suffer fools gladly:

Before Dorothy, Arthur created the title role in “Maude,” Norman Lear’s “All in the Family” spin-off. As Edith Bunker’s liberal cousin, TV’s first feminist heroine, Maude mouthed off to Archie, idolized FDR, and battled racism, menopause, and alcoholism, as well as having one of the only abortions on network TV, two months before Roe v. Wade:

Before that, Arthur used her wicked wit as a stage star. Here she is with Angela Lansbury, another Grande Dame of television, singing some cold but hilarious truths about what friendship between women really means:

Last year Arthur became the 18th woman inducted into TV’s hall of fame. [LA Times] — Clearly, we still have a long way to go. You are missed already, Bea. I hope you are sipping a daiquiri somewhere with Sophia and cracking wise about the rest of us.