Before she kept “The Golden Girls” in line, Bea Arthur was fo reals a staff sergeant! Although she vehemently denied ever serving in the military(WTF?!), the truth has come out posthumously. Turns out, during WWII, when the military began to accept female reserves in 1943, Bea was one of the first to enlist. U.S.A! U.S.A.! Find out her story after the jump ….After working as a food analyst at a packing plant, a hospital lab technician, and at a loan office in New York, 21-year-old Bea wanted to get a military assignment in ground aviation. Unfortch, she wound up being a typist, and then a truck driver for the Marines. Do you think Bea was the kind of truck driver who would honk her horn for the kids in passing school buses? By the looks of her service photo, I’m gonna go with no. She meant business!
Anyway, according to this report, Bea had just as much bark back in the day. On her military personality appraisal, she was called “over aggressive” and “argumentative.” And one reviewer wrote in “Officious–but probably a good worker–if she has her own way!” Mm-hm. If you read between the lines, it sounds like Bea was representin’ before the feminist revolution. Bad ass! And clearly, she took that sass to the next level as an actress.
Ooh, but the best part of the whole report is her only “misconduct” citation. Apparently, homegirl had to take five weeks off of service because she contracted a venereal disease while serving in North Carolina. Five weeks! Whatchu think she had? Speculate in the comments!
Her other hobbies around the base were hunting with a .22 caliber rifle, shooting a bow and arrow, and playing the piano. After the year in the service, she married fellow marine, Private Robert Arthur. Hence, Beatrice Frankel became known as Bea Arthur. Then, after the war, in 1947, she went to acting school. Ta da! And the rest is history … [The Smoking Gun]