Saturday, February 21, 2009

[DELETED BY AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR]



HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RUE MCCLANAHAN!

Today truly is a glorious day. On this day in 1934, the illustrious Rue McClanahan was brought into this world. While she has done many things before and since, it is her portrayal of one Blanche Devereaux from The Golden Girls that won her a place in my heart...and that of many, many others around the world.

Blanche was vain, egotistical and somewhat of a tramp - but at the same time showed an immense capacity for love. Rue took the character further than even the show's writers and creator could have scarcely imagined, and made it work week after week and season after season.



It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Blanche has always been my favorite "girl". My adoration and appreciation for the South (despite growing up a Yankee), combined with my love for mirrors and myself...well, it's just always been Blanche. Even from those early days of watching The Golden Girls with my grandmother and godmother - I was laughing and I was loving it, even if I didn't understand entirely what was happening.



Since those marvelous days in the 80s I have become a full-fledged super-fan, of course. I even had the overwhelming privilege of attending the release party for the first season on DVD at the Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills (now called the Paley Center For Media) in 2004, which Rue, Bea and Betty all attended. I didn't get a chance to meet Ms. McClanahan, but I did get to briefly chat with - and hug - Betty White. It was a warm and tingly experience.


Ravishing Rue certainly hasn't settled into retirement, either. From guest-starring roles on numerous TV shows, to the publication of her memoirs, "My First Five Husbands...And The Ones Who Got Away", to her Broadway performance in Wicked and to her public support of everyone from the gays, animals and her lifelong devotion to the Democratic Party - Rue McClanahan is a living legend. And even though Rose wasn't able to figure out Blanche's age on The Golden Girls (hence the title of the post), I think Rue should be proud of all she's done in her 75 years on Earth. I'll leave you with a quote from the lady herself, speaking out on one of the most common questions she receives:

"And when people ask me if I'm like Blanche, my standard answer is, just look at the facts: Blanche is a man-crazy, glamorous, extremely sexy Southern belle from Atlanta. And I'm not from Atlanta."

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