Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Golden Girl" Rue McClanahan Passes Away at 76

They'll always be golden to me.

And then there was one. "Golden Girls" star Rue McClanahan passed away today from a stroke suffered on Monday. She was 76. From MSNBC:

"...She had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997 and later lectured to cancer support groups on "aging gracefully." In 2009, she had heart bypass surgery.

McClanahan had an active career in off-Broadway and regional stages in the 1960s before she was tapped for TV in the 1970s for the key best-friend character on the hit series "Maude," starring Beatrice Arthur. After that series ended in 1978, McClanahan landed the role as Aunt Fran on "Mama's Family" in 1983.

But her most loved role came in 1985 when she co-starred with Arthur, Betty White and Estelle Getty in "The Golden Girls," a runaway hit that broke the sitcom mold by focusing on the foibles of four aging — and frequently eccentric — women living together in Miami.


"Golden Girls" aimed to show "that when people mature, they add layers," she told The New York Times in 1985. "They don't turn into other creatures. The truth is we all still have our child, our adolescent, and your young woman living in us."

Blanche, who called her father "Big Daddy," was a frequent target of roommates Dorothy, Rose and the outspoken Sophia (Getty), who would fire off zingers at Blanche such as, "Your life's an open blouse."

Fellow "Golden Girl" Betty White called McClanahan a close and dear friend.

"I treasured our relationship," said White, who was working on the set of her TV Land comedy "Hot in Cleveland" on Thursday. "It hurts more than I even thought it would, if that's even possible."

McClanahan snagged an Emmy for her work on the show in 1987. In an Associated Press interview that year, McClanahan said Blanche was unlike any other role she had ever played."

To read the whole story, click here. To read some of Blanche's best lines, click here. She was definitely the forerunner for Kim Catrall's Samantha in "SATC".

Coming on the heels of Gary Coleman's sad death last week, it's definitely a sad time for 80's TV stars.

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