Actress Rue McClanahan passed away yesterday following a stroke. She was 76 years old. A talented actress, she starred in numerous stage productions, movies, and TV shows. Viewers welcomed McClanahan into their home each week as she played memorable characters like sex-crazed Blanche from The Golden Girls and The Golden Palace, ditzy Vivian on Maude, fussy Aunt Fran on Mama’s Family, and matriarch Peggy from Sordid Lives: The Series.
The actress was well-loved and respected by those she worked with. That’s certainly evident in these reflections.
Marc Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives, got his start as a writer on The Golden Girls and wrote for The Golden Palace as well. He said, “When I worked on The Golden Girls, my favorite character to write for was Blanche Devereaux. In the hands of lesser actresses, Blanche’s vanity and sexual appetite would have been off-putting. But in Rue’s brilliant hands, that character became one of the most beloved in the history of TV. Rue’s kindness, generosity and enormous talent will be sorely missed.”