Friday, March 25, 2011
"Compassion is the foundation of everything positive, everything good."
Rue McClanahan needs no introduction to be recognized, either as a beautiful woman or a talented actress and humanitarian. Rue worked as a file clerk when she moved to New York. She began acting in 1957 in off-Broadway productions before hitting the Great White Way in 1969's production of Jimmy Shine alongside Dustin Hoffman.
Rue went on to bit parts in television series and then bigger roles in soap operas in the 70s and then the show Maude with future Golden Girls co-star Bea Arthur. In 1985, television brought us The Golden Girls and Rue as sex-crazed Southern belle, Blanche Devereaux. The show ran until 1992, earning Rue an Emmy and perhaps giving her her most beloved role.
Rue also worked on various television series and tv movies through the 80s, popping up in Murder She Wrote, Charles in Charge, and others. In the 90s, Rue continued with tv movies and series, working through 2009. She also appeared as Madame Morrible in the musical show Wicked in 2005.
Rue was a Democrat that supported gay rights and same-sex marriage. She was a member of PETA, but we won't hold that against her, and a vegetarian. She was also a devout Methodist, was married six times, an author, and breast cancer survivor. Unfortunately, in November 2009, Rue was hospitalized for triple-bypass surgery and suffered a stroke. Though she recovered her speech and was doing well, on June 3, 2010, Rue passed away after another stroke. Rest in peace, sweet Rue.