Rue McClanahan

Actor, Producer, Dancer
Able to alternate between comedy and melodrama, portraying everything from vixens to suffering mothers, Rue McClanahan became a fixture on television from the moment she landed the role of Vivian Harmon, best friend to ... Read more »
Born: 02/20/1934 in Healdton, Oklahoma, USA

Filmography

Actor (117)

Burke's Law 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2000, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Celebrity Ghost Stories 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2000, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Murder, She Wrote 1984 - 1985, 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2001, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Promised Land 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2000, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2001, 2009 - 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

TV Land Awards 2008 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

King of the Hill 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

TV's Greatest Sidekicks 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Whoopi 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Bea Arthur 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fighting Temptations 2003 (Movie)

Nancy Stringer (Actor)

The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Women 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Betty White 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Estelle Getty 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lot 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Rue McClanahan 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Ladies Man 1988 - 1989, 1993 - 1994, 1997 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Love Boat: The Next Wave 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Nurses 1988 - 1989, 1991 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Safe Harbor 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The John Larroquette Show 1988 - 1989, 1993 - 2000 (Tv Show)

Actor

Columbo: Ashes to Ashes 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula 1999 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Boy Meets World 1993 - 1994, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dads 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Empty Nest 1988 - 1989, 1993 - 1994, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

Nunsense 3: The Jamboree 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Out to Sea 1997 (Movie)

Mrs Carruthers (Actor)

Rusty: The Great Rescue 1997 (Movie)

(Actor)

Starship Troopers 1997 (Movie)

Biology Teacher (Actor)

This World, Then the Fireworks 1997 (Movie)

Mom Lakewood (Actor)

Annabelle's Wish 1996 (Movie)

(Voice)

Dear God 1996 (Movie)

Mom Turner (Actor)

Nunsense 2: The Sequel 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Nunsense 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Presents the Ladies of Laughter 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Golden Palace 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Seventh Annual Genesis Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Ultimate Driving Challenge 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Dame Edna's Hollywood 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 18th Annual People's Choice Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Golden Girls 1985 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

2nd Annual Valvoline National Driving Test 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Let Me Hear You Whisper 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Modern Love 1990 (Movie)

Evelyn (Actor)

Newhart 1982 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Night of 100 Stars III 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Wickedest Witch 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Agatha Christie's "The Man in the Brown Suit" 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park Grand Opening 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Disneyland's All-Star Comedy Circus 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Improv Tonight 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief II 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The Little Match Girl 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Gimme a Break 1981 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Picnic 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Trapper John, M.D. 1979 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Charles in Charge 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Mama's Family 1982 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Lou Grant 1977 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

And They All Lived Happily Ever After 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Son-in-Law 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Topper 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

All in the Family 1970 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Apple Pie 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Mother and Me, M.D. 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Rainbow 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Having Babies III 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Circus of the Stars 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Mannix 1967 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Who's Happy Now? 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

ABC's Matinee Today 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Where the Heart Is 1969 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

They Might Be Giants 1971 (Movie)

Daisy (Actor)

Some of My Best Friends Are... 1970 (Movie)

Lita Joyce (Actor)

The Pursuit of Happiness 1970 (Movie)

(Actor)

The People Next Door 1969 (Movie)

Della (Actor)

A Holiday to Remember (TV Show)

Actor

A Saintly Switch (TV Show)

Actor

After the Shock (TV Show)

Actor

Another World (TV Show)

Actor

Baby of the Bride (TV Show)

Actor

Children of the Bride (TV Show)

Actor

Fantasy Island (TV Show)

Actor

Generation Gap (TV Show)

Actor

Hogan's Goat (TV Show)

Actor

Innocent Victims (TV Show)

Actor

Liberace (TV Show)

Actor

Maude (TV Show)

Actor

Miracle Dogs (TV Show)

Actor

Mother of the Bride (TV Show)

Actor

Take My Daughters, Please (TV Show)

Actor

The Day the Bubble Burst (TV Show)

Actor

The Moving of Sophia Myles (TV Show)

Actor

The Rimers of Eldritch (TV Show)

Actor

The Skin of Our Teeth (TV Show)

Actor

To My Daughter (TV Show)

Actor

Word of Honor (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Able to alternate between comedy and melodrama, portraying everything from vixens to suffering mothers, Rue McClanahan became a fixture on television from the moment she landed the role of Vivian Harmon, best friend to Bea Arthur's titular character, "Maude," in 1972. Flirtatious and a bit ditzy as Vivian, McClanahan upped the flirt quotient considerably more than a decade later when she created the role for which she was most recognized, Blanche Devereaux, the self-proclaimed middle-aged sex goddess on "The Golden Girls" (NBC, 1985-1992). With her Southern charm, Blanche enchanted viewers with her comic timing but also proved to a sometimes puritanical society that sexual appetite - whether quenched or not - knew no age.

Relationships

William Edwin McClanahan

Father

Dreda Rheuna-Nell McClanahan

Mother

Mark Thomas Bish

Son
Born in 1958 father, Tom Bish

Tom Bish

Husband

Peter DeMaio Actor

Husband

Gus Fisher

Husband

Norman Hartweg

Husband

Tom Keel

Husband

Morrow Wilson Actor

Husband
Married Dec. 25, 1997 until her death June 3, 2010

EDUCATION

Ardmore High School

Ardmore , Oklahoma 1953

University of Tulsa

Tulsa , Oklahoma 1956
Graduated cum laude

Studied acting with Uta Hagen and Perry Mansfield

University of Tulsa

Tulsa , Oklahoma 1956
Graduated cum laude

Milestones

2008

Starred in the short-lived series, "Sordid Lives" on the Logo network

2007

Published her autobiography, My First Five Husbands...And the Ones Who Got Away

2005

Replaced Carole Shelley as Madame Morrible in the Broadway musical, "Wicked"

2003

Appeared in the musical romantic comedy, "The Fighting Temptations," with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce Knowles

2001

Returned to the New York stage for the Broadway revival of "The Women"

1999

Cast as Grandma Loring in the WB series, "Safe Harbor"

1997

Had small roles in the films, "Out to Sea" and "Starship Troopers"

1995

Returned to the New York stage for the world premiere of "After-Play"

1993

Starred in the TV version of "Nunsense" for Arts & Entertainment Channel

1993

Starred in the CBS TV-movie, "Mother of the Bride"

1992

Reprised role of Blanche on the short-lived, "Golden Palace" (CBS)

1991

Co-executive produced and starred in the CBS TV-movie, "Baby of the Bride"

1985

Played man-crazed Southern belle Blanche Devereaux on "The Golden Girls" (NBC)

1983

Portrayed Aunt Fran on NBC's "Mama's Family"

1978

Starred in the short-lived ABC series, "Apple Pie"

1975

Recreated the stage role of Faye Precious for the TV version of "Who's Happy Now"

1972

Played Maude's (Bea Arthur) best friend, Vivian Harmon, in the CBS series, "Maude"

1970

Joined the cast of the CBS soap, "Where the Heart Is," as Margaret Jardin

1969

Cast as the maniacal nanny Caroline Johnson on NBC's "Another World"

1968

Portrayed Sally Weber in the original Broadway production of "Jimmy Shine," with Dustin Hoffman in the title role

1967

Played the female lead in the satirical play, "MacBird"

1965

Portrayed a sleazy starlet in low-budget feature, "Hollywood After Dark"

1964

Made her Broadway debut, playing Hazel, in "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"

1963

Played 'Poochie' the girl from the shack, in the low-budget exploitation film, "Five Minutes to Love"

1961

Made feature film debut in the low-budget, "Walk the Angry Beach"

1960

First appeared on TV in the series, "Malibu Run" (CBS)

1957

Made her professional stage debut as Rachel in "Inherit the Wind" at Erie Playhouse in Pennsylvania

Bonus Trivia

.

As a teenager, McClanahan spent two summers dancing at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow festival in the Berkshires. She later decided she could not just be a "mute performer." - from New York Newsday, Jan. 31, 1995

.

"I was, AM, a serious actress. I decided when I was 13 and in the sixth grade what I wanted to do. It just hit me then. Like an epiphany." - McClanahan quoted in the New York Daily News, Jan. 25, 1995

.

In 1991, McClanahan produced and wrote (including the music and lyrics) the stage musical, "Oedipus, Shmedipus, As Long as You Love Your Mother."

.

On Nov. 4, 2009, McClanahan underwent an emergency heart bypass surgery; Suffered a minor stroke in January 2010 during recovery

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