| This floor-length gown was worn by “Maude Findlay” as portrayed by Bea Arthur in the hit television series Maude. The two-piece ensemble consists of a nude silk floor-length sleeveless gown with back zip closure and matching sleeveless vest with blue polka dot mesh overlay. The vest was altered by removing the sleeves for use in a subsequent unknown episode or another Tandem Production.
Ms. Arthur can be seen wearing the vest in Season 3 Episode 3 “Walter’s Heart Attack” while Maude is at home waiting for her husband "Walter" (Bill Macy) to get home from work so they can celebrate the seven year anniversary of their first date. After “Walter” is over two hours late, “Maude” becomes furious. "Vivian Harmon" (Rue McClanahan) barges in and lets “Maude” know that “Walter” has had a heart attack. The garment has been altered removing the sleeves.
Maude is an American sitcom developed by Norman Lear broadcasted by CBS from 1972 through 1978. Like so many of Mr. Lear’s productions, the series tackled many serious issues head-on. Dealing with many issues the American public faced, but was rarely represented onscreen – Maude was a huge critical and ratings success. Some of the controversial issues the show tackled were feminism, politics, suicide, the Rockefeller Drug Laws, sexism, alcoholism, mental illness, and abortion. The show was nominated for 12 Emmy awards, and actress Bea Arthur who played “Maude”, won Best Comedic Actress in 1977.
This garment is in good screen worn condition and was acquired directly from the costume designer and head of the wardrobe department for Embassy TV (formerly TAT/Tandem) Betsey Potter. The department also supplied wardrobe to Sanford and Son, One Day At A Time, All in the Family, Good Times, The Jeffersons, and other iconic television shows produced by Norman Lear and Embassy TV.
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