‘The Golden Girls’: Why Blanche Actress Rue McClanahan Got to Keep Her Costumes

by Joe Rutland
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Don’t think stars love their wardrobe? Well, Rue McClanahan of “The Golden Girls” made sure she got Blanche’s clothes to keep.

McClanahan, who played Blanche Devereaux on the NBC sitcom, snagged her outfits and made room for them in her home. How did it happen? The actress put a clause in her contract for them, according to an article from ABC News.

So when you see that Southern belle Blanche sashay her way through a scene, then you can bet McClanahan nabbed that outfit.

‘The Golden Girls’ Star Previously Worked With Two Costars On Shows

Now McClanahan reportedly needed a couple of full-size closets to put those clothes away. Seven seasons worth of Blanche’s clothes on “The Golden Girls” had to go somewhere, you know?

Before joining the show, she previous worked with a couple of her costars on other shows. McClanahan appeared with Bea Arthur, who played Dorothy, on Arthur’s 1970s smash-hit CBS sitcom “Maude.” Then she appeared for a season with Betty White, who played Rose, on the NBC sitcom “Mama’s Family.”

Rue McClanahan died on June 3, 2010, at 76 years old. She did have health issues at times, beating breast cancer and undergoing triple bypass heart surgery. “The Golden Girls” star did nab an Emmy Award for her work on the NBC sitcom. Arthur, White, and Estelle Getty, who played Sophia, also won individual Emmys as part of the very successful show.

Only White remains alive out of the original cast at 99 years old.

McClanahan Would Keep On Working Throughout Her Career

Some stars would find opportunities to take a break after being on different series. McClanahan, though, wanted to keep on working. “The Golden Girls” gave her another creative outlet. But she wanted more.

Why did she do this? She answered this question during a 2008 interview with “Lavender Magazine.”

“No, I want to work,” McClanahan said. “Working is life—acting, writing. I like to write. I love acting in good things. I just shot a Hallmark movie (in 2008) 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.”

That year alone, she played in 13 episodes as Peggy Ingram on “Sordid Lives: The Series.” She also picked up the TV Land Pop Culture Award for her TV work. McClanahan stayed busy and it’s apparent that she loved doing so. 

McClanahan didn’t retire. She worked until her health would not let her do so. But one can presume she wasn’t seen in public without looking fantastic in a Blanche Devereaux outfit.

Outsider.com