Emmy Award-winning actress Rue McClanahan was born on February 21, 1934 in Healdton, Oklahoma. A graduate of Ardmore High School, she started out with onstage roles in New York in the late 50s, but became known for her television work. Of Irish and Choctaw Indian ancestry, she majored in German and Theatre at the University of Tulsa. She graduated !$#!# laude of her class, and was noted for being the only female member of the school’s science club.
During the 1970s, Rue McClanahan was cast in her breakthrough role as the maniacal nanny Caroline Johnson on Another World. Among the numerous TV shows she’s worked on are Burke’s Law, Maude, Trapper John, M.D., Murder, She Wrote, Murphy Brown, and Touched by an Angel. She’s also appeared in the films The Rotten Apple, They Might Be Giants, Out to Sea, Starship Troopers, and The Fighting Temptations. She’s also a lifelong vegetarian and advocate of animal rights, and a survivor of breast cancer. She has been noted as one of the first celebrity supporters of PETA, and is a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party. One of her most notable projects is the Broadway musical Wicked, wherein she plays Madame Morrible. She later joined the series Newhart, working alongside comedian Bob Newhart and actress Mary Frann.
From 1985 to 1992, McClanahan rose to fame for playing the man-crazed Southern belle Blanche Devereaux in the sitcom The Golden Girls. In 1987, she received an Emmy Award for her portrayal, in the category Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. She has portrayed the same character on three other shows, namely The Golden Palace, Nurses and Empty Nest.
The mother of actor Mark Bish, Rue McClanahan was also cast in the 2003 musical romantic comedy The Fighting Temptations, working alongside Beyonce Knowles and Cuba Gooding, Jr. In 2007, the actress released her first autobiography, titled My First Five Husbands. She soon acted on the series Sordid Lives, portraying the character Peggy Ingram.
(Image courtesy of TV.Yahoo.com)
-Rue actually plants fruit trees, picks the fruit and then cans it herself.
-Rue says her father disapproved of some of the risque lines she had to say on The Golden Girls.
-Rue was the youngest of the four women who starred on The Golden Girls. She is actually 13 years younger than Betty White (Rose) and 12 years younger than Beatrice Arthur (Dorothy) and Estelle Getty (Sophia)!
Another World (cast member from 1970 – 1971)
Where the Heart Is (cast member from 1971 – 1972)
Hogan's Goat (1971)
Maude (1974 – 1978)
Mama's Family as Fran (cast member from 1983 – 1985)
The Golden Girls (1985 – 1992) (acted also in the spin-off The Golden Palace 1992 – 1993)
The Man in the Brown Suit (1989)
The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story (1991)
The Golden Palace (1992 – 1993)
A Saintly Switch (1999)
Sordid Lives (2008)
King of the Hill brief 2007 appearance
Hope & Faith brief 2005 appearance
Dads TV Pilot
The Rotten Apple (1961)
Walk the Angry Beach (1968)
Hollywood After Dark (1968)
The Unholy Choice (1968)
Some of My Best Friends Are... (1971)
They Might Be Giants (1971)
Message from Nam (1993)
Out to Sea (1997)
Starship Troopers (1997)
The Fighting Temptations (2003)
-Compassion is the foundation of everything positive, everything good. If you carry the power of compassion to the marketplace and the dinner table, you can make your life really count.
(about "The Golden Girls")
-I went into the audition, and I really wanted to play Blanche, but they said, "We want you to read for Rose." And I just thought, "Oh, no, that would be absolute agony if I couldn't play Blanche!" And finally they said, "Why don't you try Blanche?" and I said, "Well, if you insist....."