Bea Arthur and I first met when we appeared in Mame in 1966. Her role as Vera Charles won her her first Tony Award, and we spent a successful year together at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway. It was the beginning of a friendship that flowered after we both had made our marks in hit TV series. This uniquely talented woman was capable of bringing audiences to their knees with laughter. She found her greatest happiness and security with her family, her friends and the many disenfranchised groups she supported. Watching a scene recently from Maude in which she has to go on for a no-show performer and sing "My Way," I was struck all over again by her matchless sense of absolute comic truthfulness a woman suddenly finding herself with a captive audience and taking it to the limit.
Lansbury opens in A Little Night Music on Broadway this month