Normal people would call this a slow news day story, but as Golden Girls enthusiasts, we call this the story of a lifetime. The Smoking Gun has dug up papers that prove that Bea Arthur was enlisted in the Marine Corps for over two years when she was a young woman. In 1943, Arthur, whose name back then was Bernice Frankel, enlisted in the Women’s Reserve and served as a typist and a truck driver, among other duties. A truck-driving Marine? Yeah, that’s our Dorothy Zbornak.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this story though, is that for years, Arthur actually denied having served in the military. She never spoke of her service, not even after she married fellow Marine Robert Arthur and took the surname which became her stage name. Arthur was honorably discharged in 1945 with the title of staff sergeant, and two years later, enrolled in drama school. The rest, as they say, is television history, complete with wicker furniture and cheesecake on the lanai.
[Photos: Getty Images/The Smoking Gun]