my husband & i saw her in person on broadway,
portraying madame morrible, the horrific headmistress
in "wicked" in 1995.
her stage name was rue mcclanahan,
but naturally i thought upon seeing her listed in the program
"ooo － blanche devereaux. cool!"
because blanche －
the sassy sex kitten of the sitcom "the golden girls" －
was rue's defining role.
born with the incredibly oklahoman name
eddi-rue, in healdton, ok,
rue graduated with honors & a degree in german & theatre arts
from the university of tulsa.
she did stage work & soap operas until
she landed her first significant television role
in 1972 as best friend vivian on "maude."
in 1983, she played aunt fran on "mama's family," but
was lured away from the show for a new pilot
about four older women living together as florida roommates.
"the golden girls" ran from 1985 to 1992.
rue was the youngest of the key characters －
sardonic dorothy, daft rose & comically candid sophia.
rue won a best actress emmy for her work as blanche in 1987.
post-"gg," she was featured in many movies, tv programs & stage productions,
including her year as madame morrible.
she survived breast cancer in 1997,
& underwent heart-bypass surgery last year.
rue was a lover of animals.
she was one of the first celebrity supporters
of people for the ethical treatment of animals [peta].
& echoing her alter-ego blanche, rue was a lover of men.
she was married six times.
but upon her death at 76 from a stroke earlier this month,
she left only one child, a son by her first husband,
and her husband since 1997, morrow wilson.