Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Godspeed Maureen Arthur

Maureen Arthur, who played Hildy both the Broadway production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and the 1967 movie adaptation, died on June 15 2022 at the age of 88. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's  disease for some time.

Maureen Arthur was born on April 15 1934 in San Jose, California. She grew up in St. Louis. Her father operated a movie theatre and as a little girl she would perform on stage during vaudeville nights. She was attending Northeastern University when she won a talent contest on The Garry Moore Show. She won a gig at the Palace in New York City for a week and the chance to compete on the television talent show Chance of a Lifetime. She won Chance of a Lifetime for six straight weeks. Maureen Arthur acting at the Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City.

Miss Arthur made her television debut in 1956 as a regular on Tonight! starring Steve Allen. In the Fifties she guest starred on the TV shows Flight, Whirlybirds, Bourbon Street Beat, Not For Hire, and Richard Diamond, Detective. She made her film debut in Hot Rod Gang in 1958.

In the Sixties Maureen Arthur was a regular on the TV shows Holiday Lodge and What's It All About, World?. She guest starred on the shows General Electric Theatre; Bachelor Father; The Red Skelton Show; Perry Mason; Branded; I Spy; Hank; Get Smart; The Hero; Please Don't Eat the Daisies; The Monkees; The Flying Nun; That's Life; Gomer Pyle : USMC; and Love, American Style. She toured with How to Succeed in Business Without Trying for two years before appearing in the play on Broadway. She also appeared on Broadway in Something Different.  She appeared in the movies How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying? (1967), Thunder Alley (1967), The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz (1968), A Man Called Dagger (1968), Killers Three (1968), How to Commit Marriage (1969),  and The Love God? (1969).

In the Seventies she guest starred on the TV shows Love, American Style; Night Gallery; Sanford and Son; The New Dick Van Dyke Show; Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Joe and Sons; Laverne & Shirley; CPO Sharkey; and The Stockard Channing Show. She was a regular during a story arc on the live action Saturday morning television show The Red Hand Gang. She appeared in the movies The Love Machine (1971) and Harry and Walter Go to New York (1976).

In the Eighties Maureen Arthur was a regular on the show Empire. She guest starred on the TV shows Mork & Mindy; The Duck Factory; Too Close for Comfort; Murder, She Wrote; Highway to Heaven, and Matlock. In the Nineties she guest starred on Empty Nest.

In addition to acting, Maureen Arthur also recorded the singles "Don't Make the Angels Cry" and What Does He Do With Her" on the Carlton label

Miss Arthur was president of the Variety Club of Southern California children’s charity for several years.

I have to think Maureen Arthur will always be remembered best as Hedy in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and with good reason. She was wonderful in the role. And it seems as if many of her roles in both television and movies were similar to the not-too-bright Hedy. She played Lois, a divorcee pursuing Frank Benson (Bob Hope) in How to Commit Marriage. In The Love God? she played the cover girl of the magazine The Peacock, a nudie magazine along the lines of Playboy.  On television she played gangsters moll Ruby in the Monkees episode "Alias Micky Dolenz" That having been said, Maureen Arthur was fully capable of playing other sorts of roles. In The Love Machine she played a not so nice character, publicist and office tramp Ethel Evans. In the Get Smart episode "The Contessa," she played a KAOS agent, Contessa Montenegro (who would seem to be at take off on the Gabor Sisters). In addition to being a talented actress, Maureen Arthur was also a very good singer. She devoted literally years to Variety, the Children's Charity. Maureen Arhtur was entirely wonderful. While she will probably always be best remembered as Hedy, she did much more.

1 comment:

top_cat_james said...

Recognized her immediately from "Alias Mickey Dolenz". Arthur's angry pout when Mickey chides her for hiding a key down the front of her dress ("I said a SAFE place!") is hilarious and truly memorable.