Bea Arthur's Truck-Driving Marine Past

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com December 10 2010 2:10 PM ET

Bea Arthur served 30 months in the Marine Corps during World War II, driving a truck and working as a typist, according to website The Smoking Gun. The beloved late Emmy award-winning star of The Golden Girls and Maude had previously denied serving in the Marines in an interview (see below) conducted on behalf of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, but a newly discovered Marine personnel file indicates that Arthur, then known as Bernice Frankel, began basic training in March 1943 and initially worked as a typist at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Information in the file also indicates Arthur "was stationed at Marine Corps and Navy air stations in Virginia and North Carolina. During her military career, Arthur’s rank went from private to corporal to sergeant to staff sergeant, the title she held upon her honorable discharge in September 1945."