‘Golden Girls’ Star Rue McClanahan Spoke Out on Tabloids’ Commenting on Her Marriages, Love Life

by Anna Dunn

Rue McClanahan, who played Blanche on The Golden Girls, joked about the tabloids with Pat Sajak in a 1989 interview. The star expressed mild frustration but tried to keep things light and funny.

“I see you in these papers all the time that you’re going out with so and so, and you’re doing this [and that],” Sajak began.

McClanahan interrupted by joking that she’s seen Sajak in those papers as well, asking if he’s getting married or divorced that week.

“We laugh,” Sajak said, getting more serious, “But do they really bother you, or do you just laugh at them?” He asked.

She implied that she laughed at them “now,” meaning it probably took some time for her to adjust to the invasive tabloid “articles.” She continued with the jokes, which she was always plenty good at.

“They pair me up in those papers with the most unlikely people,” the Golden Girls star said. “And even so, I get congratulatory notes and phone calls with my family and friends,” she laughed, joking about how her family and friends still sometimes believed the tabloids. She did express frustration, however.

“You go out with a man once and you get a picture taken with him.”

‘The Golden Girls’ Star Had an Interesting Love Life

Throughout her life, the Golden Girls star was married six times. At one point, she joked that she and her flirty and vivacious character, Blanche Devereaux, were alike. In a hilarious 2007 interview, she talked about her similarities with Blanche.

“Blanche was an oversexed, self-involved, man-crazy, vain Southern belle from Atlanta — and I’m not from Atlanta,” she joked. Though, she admitted she might not be as animatedly self-centered.

She also released an autobiography about her life and marriages in 2007 called My First Five Husbands … and the Ones Who Got Away. In the book, she detailed her marriages with an expected brutal honesty and sharp wit.

McClanahan did say that her multiple marriages weren’t necessarily intentional. In fact, her urge to get married was rooted in a fear of abandonment that stemmed from her childhood. She wanted to warn women not to get married due to feelings of panic or desperation.

Still, just because some might have felt her love life was interesting, that didn’t mean constant tabloid coverage was warranted or easy for the TV star. Besides, her openness and honesty in interviews will always ring more true and hilarious than the lies and gossip.

Sadly, Rue McClanahan passed away on June 3, 2010.