‘The Golden Girls’: Blanche Actor Rue McClanahan Revealed She Would Get Fan Mail from Convicts

by Matthew Wilson

“The Golden Girls” actor Rue McClanahan appeared in several successful TV shows across her life. The actor developed a legion of fans in part due to her role as flirtatious Blanche on the hit sitcom. Fans would write the actor from all walks of life including from prison.

In a 2008 interview with Lavender Magazine, the late actor confessed she never had the nerve to respond to any of the letters she got. McClanahan said she didn’t feel it would be appropriate or safe for her to answer the letters she received from fans behind bars.

“I got some letters from some convicts when I was doing Golden Girls, but I didn’t answer them. I’m not sure it would have been safe,” McClanahan said.

Meanwhile, sometimes art imitates reality. McClanahan’s character Blanche also flirted with a man in prison while on the hit sitcom. During the episode “Mary Has a Little Lamb,” Blanche writes love letters to a convict whose in prison. Perhaps, prisoners saw the episode and felt inspired to write the actor themselves. In the episode, McClanahan’s character soon regrets sending the letters at all.

McClanahan never followed in her sitcom character’s footsteps by replying to the letters.

Ruth McClanahan On Her Creepiest Letter

But it wasn’t a prisoner that sent McClanahan the creepiest letter of her career. The actor also opened up about a letter detailing a list of deadly poisons. McClanahan was playing on the soap opera “Another World” when she received the letter. The actor’s character Caroline Johnson was a bit of a maniac on the show and plotted to kill another character, Pat.

A helpful fan decided to tell McClanahan the best way to do it. They sent her a letter describing which poison her character should use to get the job done. The actor ended up feeling a little bit shaken by the terrifying letter she received. But thankfully she never received any other letters of the like during her career.

It’s easy to see why fans were captivated by McClanahan and her acting ability. On “The Golden Girls,” the actor was often larger than life as Blanche. She was a flirtatious and vain and a proud woman all wrapped into one. The character often provided a source of comedy, her personality conflicting with her housemates. Whenever Blanche and Betty White’s Rose got together, they often weaved comedy gold.

McClanahan passed away in 2010, but her work on “Golden Girls” lives on.