Show Type: Sitcom
First Telecast: September 12, 1972
Last Telecast: April 29, 1978
Maude Findlay..... Bea Arthur
Walter Findlay..... Bill Macy
Carol..... Adrienne Barbeau
Phillip (1972-1977)..... Brian Morrison
Phillip (1977-1978)..... Kraig Metzinger
Dr. Arthur Harmon..... Conrad Bain
Vivian Cavender Harmon..... Rue McClanahan
Florida Evans (1972-1974)..... Esther Rolle
Henry Evans (1973-1974)..... John Amos
Chris (1973-1974)..... Fred Grandy
Mrs. Nell Naugatuck (1974-1977)..... Hermione Baddeley
Bert Beasley (1975-1977)..... Pat O'Malley
Victoria Butterfield (1977-1978)..... Marlene Warfield
Maude was the first spin-off from producer Norman Lear's successful comedy, All In The Family. Edith Bunker's cousin Maude was upper-middle class, liberal and extremely outspoken - a perfect counterpoint to Archie Bunker's blustering, hard-hat bigotry.
Maude lived in suburban Tuckahoe, New York, with her fourth husband, Walter, owner of Findlay's Friendly Appliances. Living with them was Carol, Maude's divorced, 27-year-old daughter and Carol's 9-year-old son, Phillip.
In her determination to represent the independent woman, she herself always had a female housekeeper. Maude's first maid, Florida, a bright, witty black woman who left early in 1974 to star in her own series, Good Times. Her husband, Henry, was renamed James in Good Times even though John Amos continued the role. Florida was succeeded by a cynical, hard-drinking English woman named Mrs. Naugatuck, who was never as popular with the viewers as Florida had been. She left the show in November 1976 after marrying Bert Beasley to return to the British Isles. Her replacement, in the fall of 1977, was Victoria Butterfield.
The Findlay's next-door neighbor and Walter's best friend was Dr. Arthur Harmon. When the series began, Arthur was a widower, but he began dating Maude's best friend, Vivian, and in February 1974, they were married. Maude's daughter Carol came close to getting married to Chris in 1974 but that didn't work out and he soon was gone from the cast.
Although this was a comedy show, the subject matter was often on the serious side. During the run of the show, Maude had become involved in politics, had a face lift, had an abortion (which drew heavy viewer protest mail) and went through menopause. Walter went through a severe bout with alcoholism, saw his store go bankrupt and had a nervous breakdown. Maude could be very funny but in its effort to be realistic, it could also be controversial and down right depressing.
Finally in 1977-1978, the audience began to decline, and some major cast changes were planned for the next season. The Harmons and Carol were to move out of town and Walter was to retire from the appliance business. Maude would begin a career in politics with a new supporting cast. But early in 1978, Bea Arthur announced that she was leaving the series. The producers admitted that no one else could play the role as she had, and so, after six seasons, Maude ended its run.
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