Golden Girl Rue McClanahan dies aged 76

Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress famous for starring in the hit 1980s TV series The Golden Girls, has died. Her manager Barbara Lawrence said the 76-year-old died from a stroke.
Born on February 21, 1934 in Oklahoma, Rue was active on the stage before branching out into television and movies. She had to wait until the 1980s before her role as The Golden Girls’ over-sexed, man-hungry Southern belle Blanche Devereaux brought her massive international fame.
The hit series centred on a group of elderly single women living in the same house together in Florida. Of the four, only veteran actress Betty White – who played Rose Nylund – is still alive. Bea Arthur (as acerbic Dorothy) and Estelle Getty (as Dorothy’s outspoken mother Sophia) passed away in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
The Golden Girls was nominated for many Emmy and Golden Globe awards, garnering both critical acclaim and impressive ratings. Its attitude towards sex, specifically sex for women over a certain age was pretty daring for its time. Nobody embodied this more than the flighty, flirty Blanche. She was always on the hunt for a man to take to bed.
"Your life’s an open blouse," the feisty Sophia said of Blanche. Quite simply, without The Golden Girls, and Rue McClanahan’s Blanche Devereaux in particular, there would be no Sex and the City. The Emmy she won for her work on the show in 1987 was well-deserved.
In addition to The Golden Girls, Rue’s other TV work included The Golden Palace (the flop Golden Girls spin-off), Law & Order, Columbo, Boy Meets World, Murder, She Wrote, Fantasy Island and Lou Grant.
The vegan and dedicated animal rights activist is survived by Morrow Wilson, her sixth husband whom she married in 1997, and a son from her first marriage. A gifted comedienne, her last screen appearance was in 2009.
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64 Responses to Golden Girl Rue McClanahan dies aged 76

  1. Jenny says:

    Did so love the Golden Girls and the reruns still make me laugh to this day, Such a great casting and I just loved "Blanche" Bet she has gone to join Dorothy and Sophie – what a riot they will cause. God Bless

  2. Malcolm says:

    Watched and enjoyed the series. A great performer and (I suspect a lady with a great sense of humour)Rest in peace and god take you

  3. Beverley says:

    always enjoyed watching her on the tv was sadened to hear of her passing rest in peace

  4. Doreen says:

    Sorry to hear of of her passing, I really enjoyed the series, oh they were really the Golden Days of comedy series.

  5. ALISON says:

    I loved the Golden Girls, it always reminds me of my nan who adored it. R.I.P xx

  6. Jacky says:

    Really loved that comedy, they were definately the best there is. Will be sadly missed. Jackie

  7. Ethel says:

    She will be sadly missed ,The show was must for us they don\’t make them like that anymore more\’s the pity Rest In Peace Blanche We will always love you Arthur & Ethel (England)

  8. georgina says:

    its so sad now that there is only rose left as the four of them were really funny,at least i have got all dvds so i can always watch them.

  9. caution brain says:

    Thank you for being a friend, thanks for all the laughter i\’ve enjoyed watching you, Rue (Blanche). This show was the best and I still have hours of fun watching the DVD\’s. God Bless Rue and RIP with your other Golden Girls making laughter where you are now xxx

  10. David says:

    Im so sad she has gone, she was my favorite and im now watching the golden girls before bed as i have been doing for years… i will miss you!! you are still making me laugh from beyond, thanks 😦

  11. Moira says:

    Rue McClanaghan you were one of a kind,i enjoyed every single show,the four of you cheered me up no end..your patter was just will be sorely missed,,,start the Golden Girls in heaven & cheer my wee Mum up-lpease?.Thank you Rue–God Bless you–there will NEVER be a show to match Golden Girls.Thank you to the four of you.

  12. Cartherine says:

    I always enjoyes watching The Golden Girls, the diverestity of the main characters made it so amusing, sadley it was taken of terestialt.v. and I think it was moved to Sky? But all the episodes I watched were fantastic. Maybe and hopfully channel 4 will run the seris again or if not them maybe Sky Gold. Lets wait and see. May Gob Bless and take care of the loved ones left behind, and do not get too raunchy up there in heaven, you just might make poeple blush!! Rest In Peace and may God take care of your family and friends left behind in the knowing that you brought so much joy and happiness too many,many people. God Bless.

  13. grace says:

    so sad i loved that prograe it takes a lot 4 e 2 laugh.

  14. Admin says:

    I remember snuggling on the sofa next to my nan watching golden girls when I was little,lots of happy memories for me!! RIP SWEET YOU MADE MY CHILDHOOD A HAPPY ONE.

  15. Unknown says:

    How sad – lived in florida when it was first out and watched every episode then! moved back home and watched it all over again on a Saturday and Sunday morning – my altime favourite show! She played that part so so so well! Very sadly missed!!!

  16. Rachel says:

    A heart felt Well Done to Rue for giving us courage, hope and determination. And some good laughs too.

  17. Laura says:

    So sad to hear Rue is gone, too soon after the other 2 girls passed away. Have many fond memories of watching the Golden Girls when i was little, still hilarious to this day. One of the best sitcoms EVER for its originality and humour. Rest in peace Rue, you will be fondly remembered and missed.

  18. Mandy and Logi says:

    She was so funny……..I LOVED that show………………R.I.P. Rue………………

  19. Romaine says:

    remember watching this with my Nana, happy memories RIP Rue x

  20. Terry says:

    I feel very sad at Rue McClanahan\’s passing. Her professionalism and instinctive acting skill brought me much happiness over the years watching her play Blanche. She was quite a gal!!! The same holds for Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty who together with Rue and Betty White gave us all so much happiness and who really seemed to become part of the family. I think that the latter speaks so much for their great talent in comedy acting. Thank you so much, ladies, I loved the three of you. My thoughts go out to Rue\’s family, but also to Betty White who has lost a very special friend. You hang in there, Betty, for a very long time, girl! o.k?

  21. Ann says:

    The Golden Girls had to be one of the best shows of the eighties…..each lady a STAR in her own right….all so well cast…….they are a hard act to follow Ann

  22. simon says:

    I never leave comments about stars. but in this case its warrented Giolden girls made me happy everytime i watched it all throught the eighties. the comic timing & togetherness the girls brought to the screen is a credit to them all….she will be missed thanks Rue you made the eighties fun

  23. steph says:

    R.I.P Rue xxx

  24. Margaret says:

    What a laugh this programe was. You could often relate to the plot and some of the things Blanche said and done would make you think of some of you friends lol. Bring the Golden Girls back for a re run. Comedy at its best. Once a Golden Girl now a Golden star shining in the heavens God bless.

  25. CAnDY says:

    there wouldnt sex and the city if it werent for them!!! i remember watching this programme day in and day out on the lifetime network back at home. she will be truly missed. It\’d be nice if they were back for a re-run. i\’ll surely enjoy it. xxx

  26. pascal says:

    Blanche has gone to join Dorothy, Sophia and Big Daddy.. and she was only 45 (in Blanche\’s years) and still fresh and the morning dew on them magnolia flowers. R.I.P xx

  27. Dioni says:


  28. ANN says:

    i enjoyed the show very much ,it was realy good for a laugh every time .. miss it a lot

  29. kevin says:

    O.M.G Such sad news this is one sassy lady who can never be replaced or equalled . R.I.P. Rue xx kevvy

  30. louise says:

    R.I.P Rue….you was the best golden girl th world will ever know. xxxlouise

  31. charmed says:

    R.I.P Rue, you will be missed so very much like all the famous stars before you, golden girl\’s was always fun to watch, an amazing actress. god bless Love Jules and boys xxxxxxx

  32. kate says:

    Im gutted and saddened by Rues death.My family and I still use quotes from The Golden Girls today,and we will continue to do so. Kathy David xxx

  33. anthea says:

    r.i.p rue youl be missed loads. i can remenber watching golden girls every friday night with my nan, and every time i watched it, it made me chuckle, r.i.pxxxx love antheaxxx

  34. Sherry says:

    Well Rue you are now with Bea and Estelle and I can imagine heaven is a really golden place now, you will forever be remembered for playing Blanche, R.I.P….Sherry xx

  35. helen says:

    R.I.P Rue , a wonderfull actress my memories of the Golden Girls bring a smile, sex in the city has nothin on you . Will be sadly missed \’\’ and the card attatched would say thank you for being a friend \’\’ god bless xxx

  36. Sally says:

    r.i.p. rue, we watched the golden girls, and loved every one, you will be very sadly missed, as the song go"s thank you for being a friend,xxxxxxxxxx

  37. george says:

    God bless you, You had me crying with laughter on more than one occasion watching Golden Girls R.I.P. Rue

  38. eileen says:

    She will be sadly missed. I have watched the golden gils from the begining ,and I will watch every rerun till they stop. I have seen rue in other things from sitcoms to dramas to films ,and she never ceases to amaze me of her versitility of everything she puts her well deserved hand to again I say you will be missed,god bless and good night

  39. nicola says:

    my favourite programme of the eighties and became one of my daughters too as she grew up. always made me laugh out loud and never failed to cheer me up if i was feeling down. i hope they will always repeat the series and i for one will never forget you.

  40. margaret says:

    the best programme in the eighties i never missed a show the one that stiks out the most for me and i still laugh when i think of it is when rose brought home the dwarf and you came out the kitchen with a tray and asked if anyone would like shrimp (class) RIP

  41. Beth says:

    Oh I thought Rue was lovely & I hope she rests in peace. May God bless her.Beth

  42. Maureen says:

    "The Golden Girls" will always be my favourite US sitcom – it\’s a timeless classic. Although I loved watching all 4 actresses, my favourites were always Rue and Estelle. The banter between Blanche and Sophia always had me cracking up with laughter. Rue will be sadly missed – she was a very talented actress. To quote the theme of the show "Thank you for being a friend ……… " x

  43. MARK says:

    How incredibly sad,what a shock, 76 years young ? came across a a bubbly vivacious character, I am sure she will be missed. Gonna have a swatch at golden Girls on You tube now…

  44. kieran says:

    RIP Rue,you girls made us all laugh every time we watched your antics,different opinions,yet still staying friends…the show was like, how,4 ladies,would interact in real life,thanks for the fun.Prayers for you and your family,friends and fans. I remember,you were the feisty one,dolled up and ready to grasp every oportunity.In life…I think you may have been a go getter,how very sad.You cheered me and many others up !

  45. dian says:

    aww what a shame,i usd to love watching golden girls when i was younger xxxx r.i.p.xxxxx

  46. Morag says:

    I was greatly saddened to hear of the death of Rue McClanahan. I am a huge fan of \’The Golden Girls\’. I watched it when it first came on telly in the UK, then bought the video tapes, then bought the DVDs here in Australia. An episode of the show always works its magic and makes me chuckle. RIP Rue.

  47. jean says:

    r i p she was a great actress

  48. Claire says:

    I am greatly saddened to hear about the death of Rue McClanahan who play Blanche Devereaux in \’The Golden Girls\’. I remember watching the show every wednesday after coming home from \’Girl Guides\’ at 9 pm as it would be the one night in the week my parents would let me stay up for an extra hour just to watch the show, I loved every episode of the show. All the actresses worked very well together. RIP Rue.

  49. Unknown says:

    Really sad to hear of Rue,s death i loved The Golden Girls it was hilarious

  50. Mandy says:

    Really saddened to hear of her death. I still watch Golden Girls now when it\’s shown on Living, and even Golden Palace had it\’s moments. She will be greatly missed. RIP

  51. Helen says:

    very sad to learn of her death,when I watched the Golden girls,as a woman of age and divorced\’she gave me hope that life didnt stop at 40 and changed my attitude to going forward and lifting myself up by the bra straps .sex and the city does,nt hold a candle,she accomplished without being crude and added humour

  52. Jaki says:

    Wonderful scathing humour, superbly portrayed this flamboyant, voyeuristic female character brilliantly acted by Rue…the like of this great actress commedienne will be difficult to follow…

  53. jayne says:

    What a brilliant program.Loved it!! Remindes me of all four of my sisters when we get together.RIP Rue.Jayne Walker

  54. Brian says:

    Very sad day once again, the show was well named they were all truely golden girls ,rue thanks for the many laughs you gave us all R I P brian,, family

  55. Roseann says:


  56. henry says:

    very sad indeed…I will certainly raise a slice of cheesecake in memory of Ms Devereaux …Harry Sansum xxx

  57. linda says:

    she was an insparation and the golden girls were the golden girls of the 80.s they all played their parts well . i hope u are havin a laugh in heaven chasesin all the old actors that have past away may you r.i.p. and your memory live on . i hope they keep the golden girls on tv . god bless you were eva you are. linda abbott brandon durham\’ 5.5.2010

  58. Mike says:

    what a Superstar! Loved the series was great fun! She will be sadly missed but never forgotten God bless, RIP x

  59. Bev says:

    loved the programme, loved all the characters. R.I.P. and thanks

  60. Alan says:

    Rest in peace Rue. Thank you for years of entertainment, you richley deserve all the praise you were given.

  61. joanne says:

    Wow what a program and a fantastic cast of actressess! I grew up watching these ladies and now have the dvds! Amazing lives, amazing people, to you all r.i.p xxxxx jo earnshaw, warrington

  62. Rosalind says:

    She was a true professional and `made\’ the Golden Girls more lively with her man-eating ways. Very funny comediene and a talented actress…hope she is at peace now…she wouldn\’t have wanted to live after a stroke!!!!!!!!!! R.I.P. Rue…there\’ll never be another like you!!!!!

  63. pat says:

    Loved watching the programme with my daughters…thank you for bringing some fun into our lives at a tragic time for us. May you rest in peace.

  64. mags says:

    loved the golden girls all of them were so funny together a lot of fun to!

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