June 04, 2010


SHE WAS MY FAVORITE GOLDEN GIRL. I wonder why on earth I'd identify with the southern slut? I also loved her in Maude. Such a comic genius and just so damned lovable!

Here's a tribute by PETA campaigns director Dan Mathews, through whom I had the honor of meeting Bea and Rue.

To Rue, With Love, From PETA by Dan Mathews

Back in the '80s, when many people still thought that PETA was a Middle Eastern bread, a funny actor from Oklahoma became our first champion in Hollywood and helped establish the organization as a household name. She was Rue McClanahan, the flirty Golden Girl, and she became so active that she was PETA's honorary director for almost three decades.


And here's a "cute" story about Rue Mclanahan from Dan, who visited her after her other stroke. Rue showed Dan a card from Betty White which read "Please hurry up and die so I can be the last Golden Girl cast member alive!" Rue's tooth was broken when she fell during the stroke so Dan said her speech was all whist...les, made worse by part of her face being paralyzed. Dan asked where she had had the stroke and she splattered out "In the hoshpital! How lucky wash I?"

And here is a fabulous--and I don't use that word as lightly as most of my gay brethren--video montage of Rue's work over the years, lovingly compiled Marc Huestis who created this as an intro to a Rue-themed gala at San Francisco's amazing Castro Theater which never happened. Who knew she acted with Faye Dunaway?


I wonder if part of the sadness and the They-don't-make-'em-like-that-anymore feeling we have after losing the hilarious Rue McClanahan (and also the great Bea Arthur) is based on a yearning we have for good ol' scripted TV. Are any shows today as funny as classic sitcoms of yesteryear? Who are the successful comic talents out there today to rival these gals on TV now?