Youngest Golden Girl Rue McClanahan dies of stroke

Rue McClanahan, passed away from a stroke on June 3, 2010.  She was 76.

McClanahan was an actress, known for her roles as Vivian Cavender Harmon on Maude, Fran Crowley on Mama’s Family, and Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls.

This talented actress began acting on Off-Broadway in New York City in 1957, but did not make her Broadway debut until 1969 when she portrayed Sally Weber in the original production of John Sebastian and Murray Schisgal’s musical, Jimmy Shine, with Dustin Hoffman in the title role.  (Photo/NCM)

Her role as Caroline Johnson on Another World (from July 1970 – September 1971) brought her notoriety. Once her role on Another World ended, Rue joined the cast of the CBS soap Where the Heart Is, in which she played Margaret Jardin.

In Maude, broadcast from 1972 to 1978, McClanahan played Maude’s (Bea Arthur) best friend, Vivian Harmon.

In The Golden Girls, broadcast from 1985 until 1992 and in The Golden Palace for one year afterwards, McClanahan portrayed man-crazed Southern belle Blanche Devereaux. Devereaux was the owner of a house inhabited by three roommates: herself, Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur), Rose Nylund (Betty White), and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty). She received an Emmy Award in 1987 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Golden Girls.

Estelle Getty

Three of the four Golden Girls have passed to the Golden Gates.  They and their wonderful talents will be missed but enjoyed on film forever.  Passing on before McClanahan were Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur.

Bea Arthur

Betty White, 88, and oldest Golden Girl, remains, and is quite active in her acting career.  Her new show, HOT in Cleveland, airs June 16, 2010.  (Photos/wiki)

Betty White

Rue in scene from The Fighting Temptations (2003) (Photo/NCM)

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