“Golden Girls” star Rue McClanahan has died after a massive stroke. The actress passed away at 1:00 a.m. on June 3, her rep tells People. McClanahan, age 76, had previously suffered a minor stroke while recovering from bypass surgery earlier this year.
McClanahan’s death leaves Betty White
as the only surviving regular cast member of “The Golden Girls,” after Bea Arthur
‘s death in 2009 and Estelle Getty
‘s death in 2008. On a press call
in late April, Betty spoke of her good friend and former castmate. “Oh Ruesy. We talk about every, oh maybe three, four weeks. She lives in New York of course. And she had a bum go.”
“She had a triple bypass and then had a stroke. And she’s just doing
fine. I talked with her. She’s home and doing better and better and
speech is all cleared up. She’s in great shape. Isn’t that good news?”
[Update: Betty White issues statement to Zap2it
: “It hurts more than I even thought it would, if that’s possible.”]
McClanahan is survived by her sixth husband, Morrow Wilson, and her son Mark Bish.
In her 2007 book “My First Five Husbands… and The One That Got Away,” McClanahan wrote, “People always ask me if I’m like Blanche. And I say, ‘Well, Blanche was
an oversexed, self-involved, man-crazy, vain Southern Belle from Atlanta
— and I’m not from Atlanta.'”