Veteran actress Bea Arthur is to be inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame.
The Golden Girls star, 86, was approached in 2003 to join past inductees including Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby, but initially turned down the offer.
She remembers, "I said, 'So sorry, very nice of you, but I can't possibly accept. There are so many talented people in the business.'
"When I hung up, I thought, 'Why the hell did I do that?' I had vaguely heard that George C. Scott had turned down the Academy Award, which I thought was kind of cool."
Additional honorees at the upcoming ceremony will include TV and movie writer Larry Gelbart, late talk show host/producer Merv Griffin, writer-producer Sherwood Schwartz and former Capital Cities/ABC executives Thomas Murphy and Daniel B. Burke.
TV Academy chairman and CEO John Shaffner adds, "It's so important to hold up great examples of people who have done something exceptional. It not only reminds us of what can be accomplished but it inspires us."
Arthur's Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled for 9 December (08) in Beverly Hills, California.