Home > Uncategorized > Golden Girl Rue McClanahan Suffers Stroke

Golden Girl Rue McClanahan Suffers Stroke

Anyone who knows me knows my love of The Golden Girls. As a child, I would watch them on NBC with my family. Later in reruns, I would spend hours watching them and laughing with my grandmother, who found them a phenomenal lift and joy after she suffered her stroke.

Last April the vibrant Bea Arthur lost her battle with cancer, and in 2008 Estelle Getty – whose character “Sofia” could have been a caricature of my grandmother – lost her battle with Lewy body dementia.

Today Rue McClanahan – who played the fiery Blanche Deveraux – suffered a stroke while recovering from heart surgery she underwent in November.

Her husband Morrow Wilson said that she could not walk and was struggling with her speech. He said doctors were working round the clock to remove the blood clot that caused the stroke. He continued:

Then, her right leg began to move and, not long afterward, she was able to walk a bit. They kept her in ICU (intensive care unit) for two weeks and then put her into the rehab center. She’s come out of that and is now in a nursing facility…She can understand what you are saying in conversation, but still has some trouble speaking. Her speech is slower than it once was and she hasn’t completely recovered on the right side of her body. She’s going to require a lot more physical and speech therapy – but at least it’s not like I stay awake at nights any more thinking that Rue is going to die.

McClanahan began acting on Off-Broadway in New York City in 1957, and her Broadway debut in 1969 when she portrayed Sally Weber in the original production of John Sebastian and Murray Schisgal’s musical Jimmy Shine with Dustin Hoffman in the title role. She went on to star on Broadway in Father’s Day, Sticks and Bones, California Suite, The Women, and Wicked. McClanahanthen found primetime success in Maude, broadcast from 1972 to 1978, playing Maude’s (Bea Arthur) best friend, Vivian Harmon; and, of course, in The Golden Girls, broadcast from 1985 until 1992 as Southern Belle Blanche Devereaux. She received an Emmy Award in 1987 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Golden Girls.

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