Beatrice “Bea” Arthur is perhaps best known for her role as the sharp tongued Dorothy in “The Golden Girls,” yet few people know that she had a very interesting past. Born in 1922, Arthur would go on to become a TV legend winning two Emmy Awards and a Tony Award, all after patriotically serving her country.
Arthur routinely denied serving in the military, yet after her death records were released which proved that the actress served for 30 months during World War II.
Enlisting at the age of 21 in 1943 under the name Bernice Frankel, she began as a typist and truck driver before being promoted from private to staff sergeant. While in the Marines, she married Robert Arthur, which is when she changed her name.
No one is sure why exactly she denied serving in the military, but most believe it was to cover a charge of misconduct for which she was honorably discharged in 1944.
Arthur pursued her acting career beginning in 1947, yet regardless of the reason for her discharge, she proved herself to be one tough cookie!