Rue McClanahan, we still miss you

Golden Girls fans from all over the Interweb world have been offering their condolences to Rue McClanahan this week. Facebook and Twitter were overloaded with “We’ll miss you” and “RIP” messages for the actress — which is super thoughtful and touching, except she died five years ago.

A despondent fan shared the CBS News article that announced McClanahan’s death, and from there it went viral — again. Fans have been very upset to learn of her passing, they just didn’t realized the article was written on June 3, 2010.

Strangely, the same thing happened last year on June 10th when another obituary for McClanahan resurfaced — which really means two things: people aren’t good at dates and people absolutely love Rue McClanahan. And we don’t blame them — there’s so much to love and admire.

McClanahan had a prolific career, starring on Broadway in the 60s, later moving on to soaps. But it was her comedic sensibilities that really set her apart and ultimately landed her a role that redefined both sexuality and age for women on TV.

Oozing with confidence and a sultry Southern drawl, McClanahan’s Blanche Devereaux delighted in her own body and desires, and didn’t let anyone shame her for it. In fact, she encouraged her best friends to embrace their own physical sides. Her character’s openness about casual sex sent that message that women could and should embrace their libido, at any age, with no remorse. It was a revelation in a TV landscape still a decade behind the Sex and the City revampPut simply, she was way ahead of her time.

Blanche was also the master of the one-liner, never flinching at a question—particularly when it came to sex.

Exhibit A:

ROSE: Is it possible to love two men at one time?
BLANCHE: Set the scene. Have we been drinking?

And, like Blanche, McClanahan proved that age ain’t nothing but a number. In an interview with the New York Times in 1985, McClanahan summed it up her perspective perfectly. She said, “…when people mature, they add layers. They don’t turn into other creatures. The truth is we all still have our child, our adolescent and our young woman living in us.” Preach!

We still miss Rue McClanahan, and the rest of her fans clearly do too (even the ones who are a little confused on the timeline of things). Rue and Blanche will forever live in our hearts!

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