Get the latest from TODAY
Bea Arthur served up the jokes, making America laugh for decades on TV – but, as it turns out, the late actress also served her country in the Marine Corps during her youth.
According to TheSmokingGun.com, the “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” star served for 30 months starting in 1943. She reportedly was a member of the Women’s Reserve and worked as a truck driver and typist.
According to one document obtained by the website, she was stationed at Marine headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a typist and also worked at Marine Corps and Navy air stations in Virginia and North Carolina.
She reportedly advanced through the ranks to the title of staff sergeant, before an honorable discharge in September 1945, according to the site.
Bea’s Marine qualification card credits the actress with the skills of “piano & organ 13 years” and “contralto-orchestra.” It also lists her hobbies as hunting with a .22 caliber rifle and “bow and arrow.”
In 2001, Bea was asked about the Marine rumor in an interview with Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and she denied ever serving. Check out a clip of the interview, here.