News came over the wires earlier this afternoon reporting the passing of actress Rue McClanahan at the age of 76 following a stroke. Ms. McClanahan had recently had heart bypass surgery, and the stroke might've been resulting from complications following the surgery.
Ms. McClanahan is best known to audiences from her role as saucy Southern belle Blanche on The Golden Girls, which marked a reunion with co-star Beatrice Arthur, more than a decade after the two had co-starred on Maude. In between, Rue had a recurring role on Mama's Family. Maude, which debuted in 1972, marked Ms. McClanahan's first television series role, after having made her mark on Broadway and in movies.
Rue McClanahan's passing leaves Betty White as the last of the Golden Girls, with Arthur having passed away last year, and Estelle Getty a year prior to that. It won't surprise anyone if Hallmark and/or WE (Women's Entertainment), the two cable networks that share the rights to Golden Girls, clear time either this weekend or within the course of this month, to do another memorial marathon.
Rest in peace, Rue.