HALLMARK CHANNEL TO MEMORIALIZE 'GOLDEN GIRL' BEA ARTHUR IN MARATHON RUN OF DOROTHY-CENTRIC EPISODES FROM THE CLASSIC SERIES 'GOLDEN GIRLS,' MEMORIAL DAY, MAY 25
Legendary Star of Stage and Screen Succumbs Today in Los Angeles
Hallmark Channel announces it will pay tribute to legendary star Bea Arthur, who passed away today at her home in Los Angeles, with a "Golden Girls" Memorial Day Marathon (Monday, May 25 (6:30 a.m. � 2:30 a.m.) featuring episodes focusing on Arthur's character Dorothy Zbornak, a gruff, wise-cracking divorc�e who shared her Miami home with her mother and two loopy friends.
Arthur, nominated for eight Emmy� Awards [two wins] remarked in 2001 that she "flipped" when she read the pilot script for "Golden Girls."
"After all the crap I had been sent, here was something so bright, adult, and fabulously funny," Arthur said.
Henry Schleiff, President and CEO, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel HD, said, "It is impossible to overstate Bea Arthur's impact on TV culture. She is actually one of a handful of comediennes who genuinely altered the direction of the medium in which she starred.
"'Golden Girls' is a recent acquisition for Hallmark Channel, and though it was first broadcast 25 years ago, the classic series has the most dedicated fans and strikes gold wherever it plays. It became an instant hit on our network.
"Putting an entire day of Dorothy-centric stories on Memorial Day allows Hallmark Channel the opportunity to truly memorialize this immensely talented, unapologetic, and incomparably adept star Bea Arthur. To all the "Golden Girls," we say, 'thank you for being a friend.'"
Arthur was a Broadway sensation whose portrayal of Vera Charles in Mame won her a Tony and the admiration of Lucille Ball who insisted that Arthur be cast in the film version [Arthur believed the role should have gone to her good friend Angela Lansbury].
In the second transformation of her show business career, Bea Arthur was 50 years old when she was brought to Hollywood to star in the controversial comedy "Maude," for which she scored five Emmy nominations and one win. "Golden Girls" followed, though the star felt after six seasons that it was time for her to move on. Arthur was last nominated for an Emmy� Award for her guest starring role in "Malcolm in the Middle" in 2001. The star last appeared on television in an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in 2005.
"Golden Girls" plays daily on Hallmark Channel [Monday-Friday, 8-10 a.m., 7-9 p.m., 12-2 a.m., Saturdays 6-9 a.m., Sundays 8:30-10 a.m.].
Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media United States, LLC is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 86 million subscribers. The top tier program service is distributed through more than 5,450 cable systems and communities as well as direct-to-home satellite services across the country. Hallmark Channel consistently ranks among the top 10 ad-supported cable networks in Prime Time and Total Day household ratings and is the nation's leading network in providing quality family programming. Crown Media also operates a second 24-hour linear channel which plays the greatest family movies of all time, Hallmark Movie Channel, and launched Hallmark Movie Channel HD in April, 2008.