‘Golden Girls’ Rue McClanahan Dies at 76

by | June 3, 2010 at 10:51 AM | Obituaries, TV News

Rue McClanahan (Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Rue McClanahan (Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)

Rue McClanahan, who famously entertained TV audiences as bawdy Blanche of the ‘Golden Girls,’ has died at age 76.

“She passed away at 1 a.m. [Thursday] morning,” the veteran actress’ manager told People.com. “She had a massive stroke.”

McClanahan had suffered a minor stroke earlier this year while recovering from bypass surgery.

Betty White, Rue McClanahan Remember Bea Arthur

With McClanahan’s passing, Betty White (who winningly played daft Rose) stands as the only surviving ‘Golden Girls’ cast member. Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur (aka Sofia and Dorothy) died in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Prior to her 1985 to 1992 ‘Golden Girls’ run, the Oklahoma-born McClanahan starred on such series as ‘Maude‘ and the ‘Carol Burnett Show’ spin-off ‘Mama’s Family.’ She most recently graced the TV screen with guest-star turns on ‘Meet the Browns‘ (December 2009) and ‘Law & Order‘ (February 2009).

Wed a total of six times, McClanahan is survived by husband of 12 years, Morrow Wilson, and a son from her first marriage.

Watch Rue McClanahan and Betty White discuss their auditions for ‘Golden Girls’: