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Honorary PETA Director, Bea Arthur Passes On

Written by PETA | April 25, 2009


People have lost one of the greatest comic actresses of all time, and animals have lost one of their all-time greatest defenders. An honorary PETA director and the winner of multiple PETA Humanitarian Awards, Bea Arthur joined PETA in 1987, when the Golden Girls did an anti-fur episode and Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White filmed a PETA anti-fur PSA on the set of the show.

A tireless advocate for animals, Bea campaigned against the force-feeding of ducks in the foie gras trade, travelling to London with PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk, where she called on Harrod’s to stop selling the cruelly made pâté. She was particularly upset about fur and used to place ads in playbills calling for theater patrons to have a change of heart and donate their furs to PETA. Bea recently called for a boycott of KFC until it improves the way it raises and kills its chickens, campaigned against animal experimentation, spoke out about the abuse of animals on factory farms, and was a vocal opponent of the use of exotic animals in circuses. She also helped launch and was a member of PETA’s Augustus Club, which helps members remember PETA in their estate plans and wills.

She will be sorely missed.

Written by Dan Mathews

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  • David Buttigieg says:

    I loved Bea Arthur as an actress and as a participant in such a wonderful organization. her efforts in PETA will be remembered forever and her legacy will be passed down as she was and still is such an inspiration. Thank you Bea! Rest in Peace!

  • Jason Novak says:

    Such a true loss to humans and animals alike. I have been and will always be a fan and supporter of her work as an actress as well as an animal right activist. She will forever be in my heart. Rest In Peace.

  • Angela Kinzie says:

    Bea was an amazing comedian and an even more amazing human being! Her work always lifted my heart and her compassion for animals and their rights was amazing!! She will be greatly missed…

  • jade says:


  • adrianna says:

    I’m grateful that there are caring people like Bea in this world because other than that people can be non appreciative I’d like to thank her for making a difference…R.I.P Bea

  • brenda says:

    Bea was such a compassionate sincere and funny person. One of my favorite shows that my mom I watch is “The Golden Girls.” I also loved “Maude”. She will be greatly missed and forever loved! My prayers and thoughts go out to her family.

  • Laura Tas says:

    She was a beautiful person inside and out showed Americans the face of feminism and went on to protect animals. What a great loss to this world. We all shine on…. shine on Beatrice!

  • Joaquin P says:

    I have been a major fan of The Golden Girls for a long time. Not too long ago it was on six times a day! To know that those girls were animal advocates made them more of an inspiration to me being a PETA member. Bea Arthur was a tremendously awsome person. I will miss her I hope everyone tries to reach the bar she has set for the rest of us to become more responsible people on this planet. She was a true inspiration and we will never forget her. Rest In Peace Bea

  • Lesley says:

    Bea Arthur was a GIVER so many hours of pleasure for her audiences and so many hours of her life fighting for the benefit of animals. We should all be truly ashamed that we do not fight for compassionate treatment of animals across the whole world like Bea Arthur did. Unfortunately the criminal Chinese bastards that daily rip the skins from living conscious animals without a thought can rest a little bit easier in their stinking beds now that such a wonderful lady has died.

  • kathleen j robinson says:

    she was such a great actor i loved watching the golden girls that show always made me laugh now she is resting in peace with no more pain and suffering she will truly be missed by her family and friends and fans rest in peace!!!

  • Dalyla says:

    I give my sympathy to her Family and her Friends. Now we lay you down in Peace but keep you in our Heart.

  • Saucy says:

    Rest in Peace Sweet Bea! You will be remembered in Heaven and not forgotton on Earth. You are a heroin to animals and women everywhere. My God guide your presence amidst Angels. LOVE AND PEACE OUT!

  • narendra singh says:

    After Anna Nicole Smith once again I am feeling so sad at this big loss…..may God be with the aggrieved family!

  • allan says:

    Thanks to Bea Arthur for all she did for animals. It is important that famous personsespecially entertainersto lead the way for animal welfare. It gives the rest of us some important support.

  • Linda says:

    A heart warming and most considerate person.Thank you Bea for having such a Great Big heart for animals and for entertaining us with so much laughter.

  • veronica says:

    we’ll miss you soo muchand so will the animals. you’re their hero.

  • Marilyn J. Snider says:

    Bea the world has lost a wonderful person and a lover of animals. You will always be in our hearts. God Bless You!!!!

  • HollyQ says:

    She was an inspiration to us all loved her dearly. Still remember her as Maude! Hilarious!

  • Melissa says:

    I am a huge golden girls fan and a lover of Bea Arthur. I think she is an inspiration for the rest of us and she will be missed.

  • Deena says:

    Rest in peace Bea. Comedy lovers throughout the world loved you and the girls. You are with GOD now probably entertaining him.

  • Ray Burkinshaw says:

    Hi in reading your article about boycotting the support for kfc of which my family has personally been doing for some time now doesn’t appear to be working as I’ve noticed the profits for these stores here in Australia alone are not declining but its probably not going to work anyhow as there is no advertising or word out there anywhere in our country expressing the way that chickens are raised killed so its not surprising that no one is boycotting kfc. After reading and watching your video on the skinning of live animals I am definately more aware of my overall actions regarding any living animal and after seeing this dispicable treatment of such have 100 more respect for animals than I do humans. If there are any tips that you can give me to pass on to make people sit up take notice please pass them on even posters etc I don’t care what it is as long as it helps to save one animal from being mistreated.

  • martha paredes says:

    Rest in peace I know god is going to have a special place for her in heaven

  • Amy S says:

    A kind compassionate soul. Thank you for your wonderful work with Peta !

  • Deborah says:

    I like Bea Arthur am a defender of animals. PETA. My entire family absolutely loved “THE GOLDEN GIRLS.” Bea may be gone but never forgotten! My twin sisters and I always said “We’RE GOING TO BE JUST LIKE THE GOLDEN GIRLS ONE DAY!”

  • Mandy Price-Moin says:

    You will be greatly missed by humans and animals! Thank you for years of laughs and standing up for animal rights! Rest in Peace Bea.

  • Dorothy Roche says:

    Was so sorry to hear about Bea. She really will be missed by me and all the animals that she helped. God seems to take the good ones doesn’t he?

  • JANICE says:


  • Karen says:

    I was devastated by this news because I am old enough to remember her from WAY back. She was a wonderfully gifted human being and used her talents to help others. I sure hate losing good people like Bea Arthur. Thank you for all you’ve given to humans and animals Bea.

  • Patrick says:

    Tu vas nous manquer Bea that means in french ” u will be missed Bea ” … I used to watch Golden Girls on french tv and i felt very sad when i was noticed of your death… I take care of many animals and i would like to thank you dear Bea for all you have done in the name of animals !! May you rest in peace !

  • Julia Macdonell says:

    It isn’t often that people we don’t knoa become so instantly dear. Bea Arthur is one that will meet the animals she loved somewhere in Heaven.

  • Jenna says:

    Yep. i will you Bea and you have done the world a great service for all of your amazing work. Bea will never be forgotten i will always remember her for many things.

  • Anna bennett says:

    With the way the world is today God must have really needed her with him. Who could be a stronger funnier angel! She is God’s Golden Girl now. With all her efforts for His creatures He is just calling her home. We all know she would want to be private about all this and for us to forget her passing and remember her animals. She’d say SHE is fine now but there is still work to be done because there are still animals suffering!