LONG BEFORE “THE GOLDEN GIRLS,” BEA ARTHUR WAS A MARINE
This scoop from The Smoking Gun nearly slipped past us in the holiday scramble and we knew you’d love it. The intrepid site dug up the late Bea Arthur’s personnel records from when she was a marine. Yes, a MARINE! In 1943, Bea- then known as Bernice Frankel, heard that enlistments for women in the Marines were open so she decided to join. She named her “hobbies” as music and dramatics. Her personality appraisal sheets listed her as “argumentative” and “over aggressive” but she performed well as a typist and truck driver in the service. By the time she was discharged in 1945, she had advanced to staff sergeant. Her only misconduct report was due to her contracting a venereal disease that left her incapacitated for duty five weeks in late 1944. Maybe THAT’S why the star of “Maude” and “Golden Girls” didn’t speak about her time in the marines, in fact she denied those years in the military. If it weren’t for the Freedom of Information Act we never would have known!