In early episodes, Rue McClanahan was aged with a gray wig and heavy make up to look closer to Bea Arthur's age. (Rue was 13 years younger than Bea.) When Vivian became a regular and Rue didn't want to wear the heavy age make up, her younger appearance was explain by saying that Vivian got a face lift.
According to Rue McClanahan's autobiography "My First Five Husbands and the Ones That Got Away" as well as various other people's interviews Bill Macy dropped his trousers at the 1974 Emmy Awards and shouted a raunchy joke out to the audience. Reportedly this was a prank he used to pull from time to time. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences responded by telling Norman Lear and the producers of Maude that they would no longer be eligible for any Emmy awards for the duration of the run of the show. Maude did not get any Emmy awards after that, except Bea Arthur in 1977 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a comedy series.
Before Bea Arthur would accept her lead role, she guest-starred on a couple of episodes of All in the Family (1971), only because Lear strongly insisted she do it, despite her hatred of flying. She agreed at the very last minute to take the role for a few episodes, which led to her starring role.
The series drew heavy criticism when the character of Maude had an abortion. However, this particular 2-part episode originally aired in November 1972, and did not generate much controversy until it was repeated after the landmark January 1973 decision "Roe. vs. Wade" concerning abortion rights.
Maude became a congresswoman during a three-part finale at the end of its last season. However, Bea Arthur decided that she had grown tired of the role and decided to end the series. The setup was used with the exact same new supporting cast, reworked with Maude's Bill Macy, as Hanging In (1979).
In her "EmmyTvLegends" interview Bea Arthur states that she would have preferred Marcia Rodd play her daughter Carol rather than Adrienne Barbeau. Rodd played Carol in the All in the Family spinoff episode stronger with "more of a mouth", which made their fight scenes more exciting. When Maude became it's own series they hired Adrienne Barbeau, who played the part " softer" much to Bea's dismay.
Bea Arthur admits, suddenly making it at age 50, which is about how old she was when Maude appeared, coming out of nowhere as she did and with years of struggling up to that point, she was a "middle-aged Cinderella story"!
Rue McLanahan has called Bea Arthur a very "eccentric woman" in interviews and said she didn't have much of a relationship with her, even though they worked together for 13 years combined if you count both the combined seasons of Maude and The Golden Girls.
In 1975, when Maude was still on the air, Bea Arthur reprised her Broadway turn as Vera Charles in the film version of "Mame", with Lucille Ball in the title role. It turned out to be one of the biggest bombs of all time. Bea Arthur said in interviews it was one of the big regrets of her life, and was more or less coerced into by husband and " Mame " director Gene Saks.
Maude made the cover of Time in September 25th of 1972, where three Norman Lear characters were showcased; "Cousin Maude", " Archie Bunker" and "Fred Sanford" underneath the caption "The New TV Season: Toppling Old Taboos".
In the early 70s when the show was still on the air Sammy Davis Jr. recorded and released his own version of "And Then There's Maude". It was a long version, with extra verses and choruses, kind of recalling the hilarious long version parodied on " Family Guy".
The opening credits includes previously unused footage which was shot for the opening credits of All in the Family: Justice for All (1968). This explains why many of the cars seen are from the early 1960s.
Bea Arthur did not get a facelift for the infamous facelift episode, as is commonly thought. They just pinned her ears back and pulled back the skin with rubber bands, and applied loads of extra makeup, kind of like they used to do with Lucy.
After Maude Adrienne Barbeau would marry John Carpenter and star in a string of horror movies, including Carpenter's The Fog and Escape From New York and Wes Craven's The Swamp Thing as well as George Romero's Creepshow.
In an EmmyTvLegends interview Bea Arthur made some racially insensitive comments about her co-star Esther Rolle. When the interviewer asked Bea what it was like to work with Esther, she said, "Well she's a black actress...and all the baggage that goes along with that".
When Bea Arthur made her stunning cameo on All in the Family, William S. Paley called up Norman Lear immediately that night and said "Get that girl her own show". When they spun off Maude and the ratings went through the roof the Hollywood community all reportedly said " Where has this girl been?"
Although Jean Stapleton is introduced as Maude's cousin in the All in the Family episode "Cousin Maude's Visit", and we're told they're very close, Maude even says she'd "die for Edith" at one point, after the pilot episode neither Edith nor Archie is ever mentioned again.
In season 2, episode 24 of "All In The Family," where Maude's house, husband and her daughter Carol debuted, Carol was played by Marcia Rodd. When Maude got her own series, Marcia Rodd was replaced in the role of Carol by Adrienne Barbeau.
In one of the strangest moments on the show, the producers invited arch conservative actor John Wayne to appear on Maude. They gave him a platform to speak his arch conservative, antifeminist views, and Maude didn't even argue with him!
Here's the rarely seen or heard second verse to the TV theme song "And Then There's Maude:" Sweet Lysistrata laid it on her fella, 'You stop the war or you sleep alone!' Columbus made it cause of Isabella, Went out and practically hawked her throne. Annie Oakley was a real straight shooter, Man she really knocked 'em dead! And Queen Elizabeth rough as it was Kept her cool so she kept her head! And then there's Maude! (And then there's Maude!) And then there's Maude! (And then there's Maude!) And then there's Maude! (And then there's Maude!) And there's Intimidating, Militant and Independent Declarating M.S. Maude!