Rue McClanahan, who is most remembered fro playing Blanche Devereaux on the hit NBC series ‘The Golden Girls,’ died on June 3 at the age of 76 from a stroke, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting. Her manager, Barbara Lawrence, confirmed the news.
While she appeared in off-Broadway and regional plays and other sitcoms throughout her career, McClanahan is recently remembered for undergoing several medical treatments. She recovered from breast cancer in the late 1990s, underwent knee surgery in 2007 and had heart bypass surgery last year.
McClanahan, who got her start on TV as Vivian, the best-friend to the title character, on the hit series ‘Maude,’ starring Beatrice Arthur, said that her favorite role was as Blanche. Reuniting with Arthur, and also co-starring Betty White and Estelle Getty, the sitcom focused on four aging women living together in Miami.
After winning an Emmy in 1987 for the role, McClanahan described Blanche as being “…in love with life and she loves men. I think she has an attitude toward women that’s competitive.”
McClanahan was also married six times and had a son, Mark, with her first husband, Tom Bish. She also released a memoir in 2007 titled ‘My First Five Husbands…And the Ones Who Got Away.’
Written by: Karen Benardello