‘Golden Girls’ Star Rue McClanahan Talked About the Scariest Fan Letter She Ever Received

by Quentin Blount
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Golden Girls star actress Rue McClanahan talked about her life as an actress in an interview with Lavender Magazine back in 2008.

McClanahan was without a doubt one of the funniest actresses of the 1970s and ’80s. In addition to starring as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls, McClanahan was also well-known for her roles as Vivian Harmon on Maude and Aunt Fran Crowley on Mama’s Family.

During her sit down with Lavender Magazine, the actress revealed interesting, yet scary details about what it’s like to be a star. The interviewer asks McClanahan to recall back to the time that a fan sent her a frightening letter.

“You’ve been in show business for a long time,” the interviewer begins. “I won’t take you all the way back to the beginning, but I did read somewhere that while you were playing maniacal nanny Caroline Johnson on Another World, a fan sent a letter advising you on the best poisons with which to kill the character Pat. That’s kind of frightening, to say the least. But what other sort of scary letters have you received over the years. Any one that comes to mind?”

The Golden Girls star says that was the only scary letter she had ever received. But it definitely scared her enough to make her not want to answer future letters that could have similar messages.

“No, that’s the only one. That was enough,” McClanahan replied. “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.”

Betty White Was First Meant to Play Blanche on ‘Golden Girls’

Prior to her death in June of 2010, Rue McClanahan spoke with the Television Academy Foundation about her role as Blanche came to be.

McClanahan said that she immediately identified with the character after reading the script for Golden Girls. When she called her agent to tell her so, she was informed that the role was going to Betty White. The higher-ups were intending for McClanahan to play Rose. Her agent said it was either that or no Golden Girls.

Knowing that the show had smash-hit potential, McClanahan didn’t want to miss the boat. So she went in to read for the part of Rose. Once she was done, the director asked if she could also read for the part of Blanche. After doing so, it was clear that she was the better fit.

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