‘The Golden Girls’: Rue McClanahan Credited One Man for Her Recovery from Breast Cancer

by Katie Maloney

The Golden Girls actress Rue McClanahan said her breast cancer recovery was due in part to this “brave man.”

Undoubtedly, actress Rue McClanahan was a vibrant woman. She stole the hearts of Golden Girls fans around the world through her portrayal of the southern vixen Blanche Devereaux. She was also a Broadway star and bestselling author. Certainly, she was an acting superstar but there was far more to Rue than just fancy outfits and hilarious one-liners. She was also a fighter.

In 1997 Rue was diagnosed with breast cancer. She spent the next year battling the disease before finally overcoming it for good. During an interview in 2008, Rue opened up about her battle with breast cancer. She said that she attributed her recovery to one man.

“Excellent. I’m getting very, very healthy. Currently, I’m at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, on a raw food diet,” said Rue. “I attribute my recovery to my husband, Morrow Wilson. His support helped me through it. We had just met when I was diagnosed. He’s a brave man.”

Rue McClanahan Used This Visualization to Help Her Overcome Breast Cancer

It’s difficult to imagine how one would react to a cancer diagnosis. No amount of acting or drama experience can prepare someone for something like that. So, it makes sense why Rue McClanahan could only really recollect feeling dizzy and almost fainting after her diagnosis. During another interview in 2008, Rue opened up about her first reaction to finding out she had cancer.

“I was sitting up on the examination table when my doctor said, “‘It’s breast cancer.’ I got very dizzy instantly and had to grab the table to keep from falling,” said Rue. “I guess that’s called ‘fainting,’ or ‘getting the vapors,’ as my friend, Lette, used to say.”

In addition to her medical treatments, The Golden Girls actress also said that she went to therapy for healing techniques. Rue shared the visualization that she learned in therapy that helped her through her cancer diagnosis.

“I went to therapy sessions where I learned to draw pictures of my immune cells fighting the dumb cancer cells, and winning,” said Rue. “Then I lay down and visualized it.”

McClanahan’s cancer treatment included a lumpectomy and five months of chemotherapy. However, she said that she adopted a specific mindset through it all.

“As Winston Churchill said, ‘I’m an optimist. Nothing else makes any sense,'” said Rue. “We can empower ourselves with our thoughts and meditations, our imagination exercises.”