How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Actor Maureen Arthur Dies at 88 | Playbill

Obituaries How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Actor Maureen Arthur Dies at 88

Ms. Arthur portrayed Hedy La Rue in the Pulitzer-winning musical on Broadway and in its film adaptation.

Maureen Arthur, April 15, 1934 - June 15, 2022

Actor Maureen Arthur passed away June 15 following an extended battle with Alzheimers. She was 88.

Born April 15, 1934, Ms. Arthur made her mark on musical theatre history on screen as the sensual secretary Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Ms. Arthur played the role in the Pulitzer-winning musical's national tour for two years before bringing her performance to Broadway, later reprising her interpretation in the 1967 screen adaptation to great acclaim. 

Ms. Arthur was a familiar presence on screen. A consistent member of the comedic television circuit, she made guest appearances on Get Smart, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, The Monkees, The Flying Nun, Gomer Pyle: USMC, Love, American Style, Sanford and Son and one of the lighter segments of the horror anthology Night Gallery, in addition to her work on Bachelor Father, Perry Mason and I Spy.

Ms. Arthur also appeared on The New Dick Van Dyke Show, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, CPO Sharkey, Too Close For Comfort, Highway to Heaven, and Matlock.

Throughout the 1960s, Ms. Arthur recorded music for the Carlton record label, including "Don't Make the Angels Cry" and "What Does He Do with Her". She made frequent appearances on The Steve Allen Show and on The Ed Sullivan Show before playing the Rivera Hotel in Las Vegas with the Latin Quarter Review. Her final Broadway performance, 1967's Something Different, was a farce by Carl Reiner.

She was a regular on the 1984 family business drama Empire, and on film she played opposite Don Knotts in 1969’s The Love God?, and Bob Hope in How to Commit Marriage. In 1971 she appeared opposite John Phillip Law in The Love Machine, based on the novel by Jacqueline Susann.

In addition to her performance work, Ms. Arthur performed in the Variety of Iowa Telethons for more than 25 years, and was a member of the Iowa Chapter of Variety. Her longtime association with Variety earned her the honorary title of "First Lady of Variety Clubs Telethons," and the official title of International Ambassador. She was a longtime president of Variety, the Children's Charity of Southern California, Tent 25.

Arthur’s first marriage, to notable jazz musician George William Weidler, ended in divorce. She later wed The Andy Griffith Show producer Aaron Ruben, and the two were married until his death in 2010.

Arthur is survived by her brothers, Gerald and David, and extended family.


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