‘The Golden Girls’: Rue McClanahan Once Explained Why She Never Retired

by Will Shepard

Rue McClanahan passed away in 2010 but was one of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood. She was probably best known for her role as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls.

While she was acting on The Golden Girls in 1987, she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. But, she was also in Maude as Vivian Harmon. Additionally, she played Aunt Fran Crowley on Mama’s Family.

McClanahan began her acting career in 1957 when she joined a Pennsylvania Playhouse. Twelve years later, in 1969, she joined Broadway. Just a year later she got into television.

However, her career was far from over. The star of The Golden Girls would go on to act until 2009, just one year before she passed away. Even though her career tailed off towards the end of her life, McClanahan worked until the very end.

The Reason Why the Star of ‘The Golden Girls’ Never Wanted to Stop Acting

In an interview with Lavender Magazine in 2008, McClanahan explained why she never wanted to stop working. She said that her career was her life’s work and never wants to give it up.

At the time of the interview, she was 74 years old. Rue McClanahan had been working for almost the entirety of her life, starting at 23. She had formed a new brand for women in comedy. Once The Golden Girls finished, her legacy was already cemented, but she never thought about stopping. So, the interviewer asked her why she never sat back and relaxed.

“No, I want to work. Working is life—acting, writing. I like to write. I love acting in good things,” McClanahan said. “I just shot a Hallmark movie with Ed Asner called Generation Gap that will premiere in late October. It’s things like that that keep me young. I don’t want to retire.”

So, she continued to press on with her career even after this 2008 interview. In 2008, the Golden Girls icon had 13 episodes as Peggy Ingram on Sordid Lives: The Series. That year, McClanahan won the TV Land Pop Culture Award. But that didn’t end her career either. She appeared in two more television episodes in 2009, on Law and Order and Meet the Browns.

McClanahan certainly raised the bar for actresses making their way to Hollywood. Not only that, but she was able to forge a path for women in the late 1900s to become successful.