Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thank you for being a friend, Rue

Rue McClanahan, one of America's favorite grandma's, passed away last week at the age of 76. Her death means that only one Golden Girl, Betty White, remains to uphold the legacy of the iconic TV show.

McClanahan portrayed Blanche Devereaux, the show's saucy Southern belle/harlot. Though Golden Girls premiered a year before I was born, thanks to Lifetime and Hallmark, young people everywhere have been devouring re-runs like a rich piece of grandma's cheesecake for the past two decades.

The TV show might have focused on a group of retirees, but its reach was widespread. Golden Girls set the mold for latter fearsome foursome shows, such as Sex and the City and Girlfriends. Blanche was the original Samantha Jones, a sexually liberated woman in a time when the idea of a promiscuous older woman was unheard of. She practically invented cougardom.

Any one of the fans of that show can name the character they most identify with and rattle of all the lyrics of the theme song. Seriously, this could be a great bar song. Start it next time and see how many people know the rest of the words.

For her role in the popular show and other hits "Maude" and "Mama's Family," McClanahan will be sorely missed. Thanks for being a pal and a confidant. I will be watching a Hallmark Channel marathon in your honor.

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