Rue McClanahan as Maude's best friend Vivian Harmon.
|Alias/Also known as:||Vivian Cavender-Harmon|
|Maude's rather scatterbrained longtime friend since college, whom, shortly after divorcing her first husband, begins dating Walter's best friend and the Findlay's next door neighbor before eventually marrying him about a year later|
|Spouse(s):||Dr. Arthur Harmon (1974-present (?)) |
Chuck Cavender (???-1973, divorced)
|Appeared on:||Maude (TV series)|
|Episodes appeared in:||101 in series (Seasons 1-6)|
|Character played by:||Rue McClanahan|
Vivian has been Maude's best friend since they met while in college. In contrast to the other New York-sounding characters, however, Vivian's accent appeared to sound more Southern than New Yorkish, which suggested she was perhaps raised in a Southern state before she met Maude; Vivian actress Rue McClanahan was herself a native of the Oklahoma. Vivian was captain of her high school soccer team for 4 years, as well as valedictorian of her graduating class. Vivian and Chuck Cavender (played by William Redfield) in two episodes) met and married about the same time that Maude met and wed her first husband Barney.
The Cavenders would go on many vacations with Maude and her husbands through the years. After 16 years of marriage, the Cavenders divorced in 1973. Vivian then promptly got a facelift and then began dating the Findlay's neighbor, and Walter's longtime best friend, Dr. Arthur Harmon (played by Conrad Bain), a rather a stuffy, sardonic Republican, whom always seem to clash with staunchly liberal Maude, whom she quickly began courting before marrying on January 29, 1974, (as covered in the episode "The Commuter Station" (#19)).
Vivian, whose views always seem to be similar to those of Maude, and Arthur also clash from time to time over the same issues which Maude and he clash over, such as women's lib, the ERA ammendment, a woman's choice to work or be an at-home houswife, but they always seem to make up, as Arthur is often forced to accept the changing times concerning women's rights. Despite being a housewife, Vivian would still participate in feminist causes, including a participation in Congress of Women (COW) meeting which resulted in a delicate confrontation with Arthur over her so-called neglect of "household duties."
Vivian's pride and joy was her pet fox terrier "Chuck" (named sarcastically, apparently, after her ex-husband), who died on October 25, 1975, while in friend Maude's care.