June 3, 2010

'Golden Girl' Rue McClanahan dies at 76

Posted: 11:58 AM ET


"She passed away at 1 a.m. this morning," her manager, Barbara Lawrence, tells PEOPLE. "She had a massive stroke."

McClanahan, who played man-happy Blanche Devereaux on the still-popular '80s sitcom Golden Girls, had suffered a minor stroke earlier this year while recovering from bypass surgery. Lawrence adds that at the time of her death Thursday, McClanahan “had her family with her. She went in peace.”

Still in syndication, Golden Girls ran on NBC from 1985 to 1992. Only last year, McClanahan's costar, Beatrice Arthur, died from cancer. Estelle Getty died in 2008. Surviving star Betty White, 88, is currently enjoying a remarkable resurgence in her career, having recently hosted Saturday Night Live.


Filed under: Entertainment

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John   June 3rd, 2010 12:14 pm ET

I was just working away doing some telemarketing work when the news of Rue's death came across the radio. She was a REMARKABLE woman and I am deeply saddened by her death. I have been folloowing her progress since her first stroke and was hoping that she was recovering nicely. I just recently saw what must have been her last acting gig where she plays a mother who became estranged by her daughter. I am happy for Betty White and her recent return to fame, but cannot believe that three memorable folks from one of my favorite TV shows are all gone.
Obviously, the good Lord had other plans for Rue now in heaven. I offer my deepest sympathy to her surviving family members.

Lori - Justice for Michael   June 3rd, 2010 12:42 pm ET

Rest in Peace Ms. McClanahan. Thank you for all the enjoyment you provided. You were indeed a favorite. You will be missed.

Andrea Morgan   June 3rd, 2010 1:09 pm ET

I watch the Golden Girls every..single...night and never stop laughing at these extremely talented women. I will greatly miss Blanche, as I have missed Dorothy and Sophia over the past 2 years. The Golden Girls have provided countless memories from my childhood and I will be watching them for the rest of my life. THANK YOU RUE for your undeniable talent!!!!!! You are forever in my heart.

Kristy Lynn   June 3rd, 2010 1:43 pm ET

This news brings tremendous sadness to my heart. Rue McClanahan you will be greatly missed. Thank you for being our friend, thank you for the many laughs, and thank you for all of the wonderful memories. I pary you are resting in peace with the angels.

Madeline   June 3rd, 2010 2:04 pm ET

The golden girls is such a big part of our lives in my family. We have every season on DVD. Its a routine at home, every night before bed, we watch our golden girls. Its our therapy! I am so sad my "Blanche" has passed away. Its with deepest sympathy I share my condolences to Rue's family. She will always be part of our lives!!! We love you!

Patti   June 3rd, 2010 2:14 pm ET

How sad. Her family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers. I loved the Golden Girls and now all but one of those fabulous women are gone. I am sure they are re-united in Heaven.

eunder1   June 3rd, 2010 2:17 pm ET

I watch Golden Girls every night at 11 PM until 1 AM on the Hallmark Channel. It's bitter sweet to know Rue passed just as my favorite show ended. The remarkable cleverness and witiness she brought to her character, Blanche Devereaux, helped create one of the top sitcoms in history. The world has lost one of its most talented actresses that while undoubtedly loved, will be missed by thousands.

Anne D   June 3rd, 2010 2:20 pm ET

It is sad news about Rue. I very much enjoyed her work, and she and the other "Golden Girls" certainly brought us a lot of laughs. Rest in Peace, Ms. McClanahan.

Paul   June 3rd, 2010 2:41 pm ET

Sad to hear of another TV ledgend passing. She was a gifted actress who made people laugh and she will be fondly remembered. Be with the Lord in Peace and prayers to her family.

LYNNDEE SNOW   June 3rd, 2010 3:31 pm ET

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I know that BP would probably lose that whole well if they did this, but could it save the gulf coast states from having to deal with any more cleanup than they already have to do? Could doing this thus help all the wildlife, all the people down there and the economy of those states and the country? If it could work, I think it would sure be better than waiting until August for BP to "save it's well"!

Ana   June 3rd, 2010 3:36 pm ET

I still watch Golden Girls re-runs and was saddened by this news too. This show will always be a favourite of mine, was an oldie but a real goldie. Love Bea, Estelle, Rue and Betty.... All made the show very enjoyable to watch. May god bless them all for the laughter and joy they brought to all of their fans. You'll be missed!

adela   June 3rd, 2010 4:16 pm ET

condolences to the family

gerald Jolly   June 3rd, 2010 4:50 pm ET

Very sad.

This wonderful lady gave us so many moments of laughter

May God bring her into his heaven and bless her.

Laquetta   June 3rd, 2010 5:13 pm ET

Fancy, so funny:) Idealistic, Bold, Real, Inspirational, loving "The Golden Girls" They will always live on. And will be truly missed Blanche. We love you lady:) and Nancy you were the lady of Fame, Glory, strength, maturity for the crew:) We love you too lady:) God Bless you all and Rose will always be the star for you all RIP.

Deborah   June 3rd, 2010 6:05 pm ET

What a sight it must have been to see you slithering through those "Golden Gates" in all your "Blanche-ness".

Rest in Peace.

Thank you for being our friend.

Jorge   June 3rd, 2010 6:20 pm ET

I will always remember her as the happy-men Blanche she used to play.
Awesome actress!! May her family find strength and peace with all the loving memories she left all of us with.
Rest in peace. XXX

Babs E. Keller   June 3rd, 2010 6:26 pm ET

Thank you, Rue, for all the laughter and joy. The world will miss you and you will forever remain very funny.

Rest in Peace!

wayne   June 3rd, 2010 6:36 pm ET

our hearts are heavy with saddness but God will enjoy an eternity of laughter with Rue in heaven with Estelle and Bea! I love u Rue!

Jovan   June 3rd, 2010 8:24 pm ET

Just watched your episode of celebrity ghost stories. I love Golden Girls and watch daily on WE and Hallmark. I will continue to do so. May you rest in paradise.

greg   June 3rd, 2010 8:44 pm ET

I am sadened about another golden girl gone. betty white is the oldest and only living one. I still watch the reruns of the golden girls. They never get old. I laugh everytime i see an episode. rest in peace blanche

Marilyn   June 3rd, 2010 8:46 pm ET

I am truly sad to learn of her death. She will be remembered with love, affection and admiration, not only for the many hours of joy she brought but for, in the later years, her constant concern for the animals and the problems of ageing. My condloences to her family.

Diana   June 3rd, 2010 9:05 pm ET

I had the pleasure of meeting Rue McClanahan several years ago in North Carolina where she was performing on stage. I recall saying to her "You are the most talented and beautiful actress ever!" Rue replied with a chuckle "Don't I know it!" We all do, Rue. Thank you for sharing your talent and beauty with us.

christine canada   June 3rd, 2010 10:58 pm ET

Very sad news to hear about the passing of Rue. Golden Girls has always been, and always will be, one of my favourite shows. It never fails to have me in stitches. (Maude was great, too.) Rue was a terrific actress and a tireless advocate for animal welfare. Thank you for the wonderful memories, the constant laughter and your work to help animals. Rest in Peace.

Dodie   June 4th, 2010 12:36 am ET

@Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Having a senior moment? :~) What we all have to look forward to!

Idzan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   June 4th, 2010 4:53 am ET

Yep Dodie
Feel so sad. She's only 3 years older than my mom.

Tina Okrasinski-Smith   June 4th, 2010 7:36 am ET

Loved the Golden Girls...Blanche was perfect for Rue! Prayers and thoughts are with the family..God Bless!

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   June 4th, 2010 9:34 am ET

She was a strong Southern lady. Sorry to hear of her passing. Would like to thank her for all the great entertainment and laughter she brought to us.

May she rest in peace. Condolences to her family.

JAMIE NORWOOD   June 5th, 2010 9:41 pm ET

i like her in the golden girls ALOT


C Cross   June 7th, 2010 12:13 am ET

Condolences go out to her family..She was certainly a talented individual. she will be greatly be missed by all. May she rest in peace.

josie   June 11th, 2010 5:44 pm ET

Thank you for being a friend!

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