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Rue McClanahan Biography

Birth Name:
Eddi-Rue McClanahan
Birth Place:
Healdton, Oklahoma, United States
Actor, producer, playwright, songwriter, author

Fast Facts

  • Made professional stage debut at Pennsylvania's Erie Playhouse in 1957 in Inherit the Wind
  • Caught the attention of producer Norman Lear with her 1972 performance in Tonight in Living Color
  • Later that year, he offered her a guest spot on an episode of his sitcom All in the Family
  • Her work so impressed him that he cast her in Maude opposite Bea Arthur
  • The two would later star in The Golden Girls together
  • Reprised her Golden Girls role of Blanche Devereaux on the short-lived spin-off Golden Palace (1992-93)
  • Produced and wrote the 1991 musical Oedipus Schmedipus, As Long As You Love Your Mother, which was staged in Los Angeles
  • A lifelong vegetarian and animal-rights advocate, she was one of the first celebrities to support PETA
  • In 2003, she wrote Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry a letter that stated that his pheasant hunting had cost him her vote
  • Wrote the 2007 autobiography My First Five Husbands
  • And the Ones Who Got Away


  • Gus Fisher -- Ex-husband
  • Norman Hartweg -- Ex-husband
  • Tom Keel -- Ex-husband
  • Tom Lloyd Bish -- Ex-husband
  • William Edwin McClanahan -- Father
  • Morrow Wilson -- Husband
  • Dreda Rheua-Nell McClanahan -- Mother
  • Mark Thomas Bish -- Son