McClanahan, Rue 1934(?)–

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McCLANAHAN, Rue 1934(?)–

(Rhu McClanahan)


Full name, Eddi–Rue McClanahan; born February 21, 1934 (some sources say 1935), in Healdton, OK; daughter of William Edwin (a building contractor) and Dreda Rheua–Nell (a beautician; maiden name, Medaris) McClanahan; married Tom Bish (an actor), 1958 (divorced); married Norman Hartweg (an actor), 1959 (divorced, 1961); married Peter DeMaio (an actor), 1964 (divorced, 1971); married Gus Fisher (a realtor), 1976 (divorced, 1978); married Tom Keel, 1985 (divorced, 1986); married Morrow Wilson, December 25, 1997; children: (first marriage) Mark. Education: University of Tulsa, B.A. (cum laude), drama and German, 1956; attended Metropolitan School of Ballet; trained for the stage with Uta Hagen, Perry Mansfield, and Harold Clurman. Avocational Interests: Hiking, reading, sewing, gardening, and beachcombing.

Addresses: Agent—Agency for the Performing Arts, Inc., 9000 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90069; Don Buchwald & Associates, 6500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2200, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Manager—Ensemble Entertainment, 10474 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 380, Los Angeles, CA 90025.

Career: Actress, producer, and writer. Previously worked as a waitress, secretary, and clothing salesperson.

Member: Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Awards, Honors: Hollywood Women's Press Club, Golden Apple Star of the Year, 1986; Golden Globe Award nominations, best performance by an actress in a television comedy or musical, 1986, 1987, and 1988, Emmy Award nominations, outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, 1986, 1988, and 1989, and Emmy Award, outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, 1987, all for The Golden Girls; Obie Award, for Who's Happy Now?; received two DramaLogue Awards and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nomination, for In the Sweet Bye and Bye.


Television Appearances; Series:

Caroline Johnson, Another World, NBC, 1970–1971.

Second Margaret Jardin, Where the Heart Is, CBS, 1971–1972.

Vivian Cavender Harmon, Maude, CBS, 1972–1978.

Ginger–Nell Hollyhock, Apple Pie, ABC, 1978.

Aunt Fran Crawley, Mama's Family, NBC, 1983–1985.

Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Girls, NBC, 1985–1992.

Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Palace, CBS, 1992.

Grandma Loring, Safe Harbor, The WB, 1999.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Beatrice Andrews, Danielle Steel's "Message from Nam," NBC, 1993.

Marylou Hennis, Innocent Victims, ABC, 1996.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Gloria Miles, Having Babies III, ABC, 1978.

Grandpa Goes to Washington, NBC, 1978.

Lil Brenner, Mother and Me, M.D., NBC, 1979.

Charlotte Sugarman, The Son–in–Law, NBC, 1980.

Liz Wescott, And They All Lived Happily Ever After, CBS, 1981.

Masquerade, ABC, 1983.

Miss Parsifal, Small & Frye, 1983.

Sister Coretta, Spell Bound, The WB, 1996.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

(Television debut) Malibu Run (also known as The Aquanauts), CBS, 1960.

(Uncredited) Waitress, "Who Killed April?," Burke's Law, 1964.

Ruth Rempley, "The Bunkers and the Swingers," All in the Family, CBS, 1972.

Cora Groves, "The Rimers of Eldritch," Playhouse New York, PBS, 1972.

Carol Babcock, "My Secret Mother," ABC's Matinee Today, ABC, 1973.

"Game Plan," Mannix, CBS, 1974.

"Seventeen Forever," Insight, syndicated, 1975.

$20,000 Pyramid, 1976.

"A Slight Drinking Problem," Insight, syndicated, 1977.

April, "The Last Hundred Bucks," The Love Boat, ABC, 1978.

Sweepstakes, NBC, 1979.

Janet, "Where Have You Been, Billy Boy?," Supertrain, NBC, 1979.

Margaret Fielding, "Bowling/Command Performances," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1979.

Maggie McKenna, "Guns," Lou Grant, CBS, 1980.

"Private Eye," Here's Boomer, NBC, 1980.

Mary Hubble, "The Promoter/The Judges/The Family Plan/Forever Engaged/May the Best Man Win: Parts 1& 2," The Love Boat, ABC, 1980.

Marian Grover, "The Second Time Around," Gimme a Break!, NBC, 1981.

Mrs. Louise Michaelson, "Daisies," Darkroom, ABC, 1981.

Doris Simpson, "His Girls Friday," The Love Boat, ABC, 1982.

Mary, "John's Other Life," Trapper John, M.D., CBS, 1982.

"The Final Round," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1982.

Eleanor Smathers, "The Way We Thought We Were," Newhart, CBS, 1983.

"How Do I Love Thee?," The Love Boat, ABC, 1984.

"Ted Knight," This Is Your Life, 1984.

Mother Goose, "Big Bad Mel," Alice, CBS, 1984.

Katrina, "Grandpa's Secret Life," Gimme a Break!, NBC, 1984.

Mattie Bemstein, "Murder in Malibu," Cover Up, NBC, 1984.

"Paying the Piper," The Love Boat, ABC, 1984.

Irene Pembroke, "Home for the Holidays," Charles in Charge, CBS, 1984.

"Turn of the Century–Fox," Crazy Like a Fox, CBS, 1985.

Irene Pembroke, "Grandma Returns," Charles in Charge, syndicated, 1985.

Miriam Radford, "Murder Takes the Bus," Murder, She Wrote, 1985.

Blanche Devereaux, "Fatal Attraction," Empty Nest, NBC, 1988.

Madam, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Nightmare Classics, Showtime, 1989.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, 1989.

Blanche Devereaux, "Moon over Miami," Nurses, 1992.

Dame Edna's Hollywood, 1992.

Bernice Matthews, "Grandma Was a Rolling Stone," Boy Meets World, 1993.

Tricksy, "Who Killed the Host at the Roast?," Burke's Law, 1994.

Amelia Bowthorpe Archibald, "Manny," Touched by an Angel, 1994.

Voice of Anastasia Hardy, "Dr. Octopus: Armed and Dangerous," Spider–Man (animated), 1995.

Virginia Redfield, "Mama Miller," Murphy Brown, 1996.

Herself, "Here We Go Again," The John Larroquette Show, 1996.

Dusty Foxx, "The Diva That Wouldn't Die," Remember WENN, 1996.

Valerie Carter, "Intolerance," The Promised Land, CBS, 1997.

Abigail Jordan, "Captains Courageous," The Love Boat: The Next Wave, WB, 1998.

Priscilla Tremaine, The Lot, AMC, 1999.

Voice of Grandma Burns, "Blue's Big Treasure Hunt," Blue's Clues (animated), 1999.

Aunt Lou, "Travels with My Aunt," Ladies Man, CBS, 2000.

Aunt Lou, "Romance," Ladies Man, CBS, 2000.

Lila Winslow, "Shallow Water: Parts 1 & 2," Touched by an Angel, CBS, 2001.

Sally Jessy Raphael, 2002.

Marian, "American Woman," Whoopi, NBC, 2004.

Also appeared as Lucille, "Kidnapped," The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer; in Improv Tonight, syndicated; Route 66; and Empire.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Ida Koverman, Rainbow, NBC, 1978.

Mat's mother, Sergeant Matlovich vs. the U.S. Air Force, NBC, 1978.

Clara Topper, Topper, ABC, 1979.

Adele Sherman, Gridlock (also known as The Great American Traffic Jam), NBC, 1980.

Maggie McNeil, Word of Honor, CBS, 1981.

Barbara Arvay, The Day the Bubble Burst, NBC, 1982.

Frances Dutton, The Little Match Girl, NBC, 1987.

Frances Liberace, Liberace, ABC, 1988.

Lilah Page, Take My Daughters, Please (also known as All My Darling Daughters), NBC, 1988.

Suzy Blair, Agatha Christie's "The Man in the Brown Suit" (also known as The Man in the Brown Suit), CBS, 1989.

Sherra Cox, After the Shock (also known as To the Heroes: The San Francisco Earthquake, October 17, 1989), USA Network, 1990.

Mathilde Gage, Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story, NBC, 1990.

Margret Becker Hix, Children of the Bride, CBS, 1990.

Laura Carlson, To My Daughter, NBC, 1990.

Margret Becker Hix, Baby of the Bride, CBS, 1991.

Margret Becker Hix, Mother of the Bride, CBS, 1993.

Grandma Stephens, A Burning Passion: The Margaret Mitchell Story (also known as Margaret), NBC, 1994.

Miz Leona, A Holiday to Remember (also known as A Christmas Love), CBS, 1995.

Verity Chandler, Columbo: Ashes to Ashes, ABC, 1998.

Aunt Fanny Moye, A Saintly Switch (also known as In Your Shoes), ABC, 1999.

Mary–Margaret, The Moving of Sophia Myles, CBS, 2000.

Katherine Mannion, Miracle Dogs, 2003.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Jo Finn, Hogan's Goat, PBS, 1971.

Cora Groves, The Rimers of Eldritch, PBS, 1972.

Faye Precious, "Who's Happy Now?," Theater in America, PBS, 1975.

Ted Knight Musical Comedy Variety Special Special, 1976.

Circus of the Stars, CBS, 1977.

Esmerelda the fortune teller, "The Skin of Our Teeth," American Playhouse, PBS, 1983.

59th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, NBC, 1985.

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration, NBC, 1986.

Flo Owens, "Picnic," Broadway on Showtime, Showtime, 1986.

Comic Relief II, HBO, 1987.

Host, Disneyland's All–Star Comedy Circus, NBC, 1988.

Disney–MGM Studios Theme Park Grand Opening, NBC, 1989.

Avarissa the Witch, The Wickedest Witch (also known as The Worst Witch and The Witch), NBC, 1989.

Miss Moray, "Let Me Hear You Whisper," American Playwrights Theatre: The One Acts, Arts and Entertainment, 1990.

Time Warner Presents the Earth Day Special, ABC, 1990.

Night of 100 Stars III, NBC, 1990.

The 2nd Annual Valvoline National Driving Test, CBS, 1990.

Bob Hope Presents the Ladies of Laughter, NBC, 1992.

The Ultimate Driving Challenge, CBS, 1993.

Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years, NBC, 1993.

Mother Superior Mary Regina, Nunsense, Arts and Entertainment, 1994.

Mother Superior Mary Regina, Nunsense 2: The Sequel (also known as Nunsense II: The Second Coming), Arts and Entertainment, 1994.

Nunsense 3: The Jamboree, TNN, 1998.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Rue McClanahan, Lifetime, 2000.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Betty White, Lifetime, 2000.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Estelle Getty, Lifetime, 2001.

Countess De Lage, The Women (also known as Stage on Screen: The Women), PBS, 2002.

NBC 75th Anniversary Special (also known as NBC 75th Anniversary Celebration), NBC, 2002.

Interviewee, Intimate Portrait: Bea Arthur, Lifetime, 2003.

The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments, Lifetime, 2003.

CBS at 75, CBS, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1987.

The 3rd Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1989.

The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Presentation, Fox, 1991.

The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1991.

The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards, TBS, 1991.

The 18th Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1992.

Host, The Seventh Annual Genesis Awards, The Discovery Channel, 1993.

Lifetime Presents: Disney's American Teacher Awards, Lifetime, 2001.

Television Work; Movies:

Co–executive producer, Baby of the Bride, CBS, 1991.

Co–executive producer, Mother of the Bride, CBS, 1993.

Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) Rachel, Inherit the Wind, Erie Playhouse, Erie, PA, 1957.

(Off–Broadway debut) Hazel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Players Theatre, 1964.

Understudy of female leads, The Best Laid Plans, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Nurse, Big Man, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Lady MacBird, MacBird!, Village Gate Theatre, New York City, 1967–1968.

Hostage, Hartford Stage Company, Hartford, CT, 1968.

The Firebugs, Hartford Stage Company, 1968.

The Threepenny Opera, Hartford Stage Company, 1968.

(Broadway debut) Sally Weber, Jimmy Shine, Brooks Atkinson Theatre, 1968–1969.

Betty, "The Golden Fleece," Tonight in Living Color, Actors Playhouse, New York City, 1969.

Faye Precious, Who's Happy Now?, Village South Theatre, New York City, 1969.

Dark of the Moon, 1970.

Standby, Father's Day, 1971.

Avis, God Says There Is No Peter Ott, 1972.

Caitlin Thomas, Dylan, Mercer O'Casey Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Harriet, Sticks and Bones, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Crystal, Crystal and Fox, McAlpin Rooftop Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Hannah, Diana, and Gert, California Suite, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 1977.

Fortuneteller, The Skin of Our Teeth, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA, 1983.

Jessie, In the Sweet Bye and Bye, Back Alley Theatre, Los Angeles, 1985.

Flo, Picnic, Denver Auditorium Theatre, Denver, CO, then Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 1986.

Bananas Shaughnessy, House of Blue Leaves, Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena, CA, 1987.

Night of 100 Stars III, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1990.

After–Play, Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, 1995.

Veta Louise Simmons, Harvey, 1995.

The Vagina Monologues, Westside Theatre, 1999–2003.

Countess De Largo, The Women, American Airlines Theater, New York City, 2001–2002.

Also appeared as Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire, Pasadena Playhouse, Pasadena; in After the Fall; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Death of a Salesman; and Critic's Choice.

Film Appearances:

Pamela, Door–to–Door Maniac (also known as Five Minutes to Live and Last Blood), 1961.

Loraina, The Grass Eater, 1961.

Sally "Poochie," Five Minutes to Love (also known as It Only Takes Five Minutes and The Rotten Apple), 1963.

How to Succeed with Girls, 1964.

(As Rhu McClanahan) Angel's Flight (also known as Shock Hill), 1965.

Sandy, Walk the Angry Beach (also known as Hollywood After Dark and The Unholy Choice), 1968.

Daisy Playfair, They Might Be Giants, Universal, 1970.

Della, The People Next Door, AVCO–Embassy, 1970.

Mrs. O'Mara, The Pursuit of Happiness, 1971.

Lita Joyce, Some of My Best Friends Are ... (also known as The Bar), 1971.

Survival of Spaceship Earth, 1972.

Gail, Blade, 1973.

A Different Approach, 1978.

Mrs. Parker, Modern Love, Murphey–Triumph, 1990.

Hostess, Biosphere 2, 1991.

Mom Turner, Dear God, 1996.

Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula (also known as Bela Lugosi: Hollywood's Dracula), Seventh Art, 1997.

Edna Callahan, Rusty: A Dog's Tale (also known as Rusty: The Great Rescue), 1997.

Mom Lakewood, This World, then the Fireworks, Orion, 1997.

Mrs. Carruthers, Out to Sea, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1997.

Voice of Scarlett, Annabelle's Wish, Hallmark Entertainment, 1997.

Biology teacher, Starship Troopers, Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1997.

Mrs. Kirby, Border to Border, 1998.

Grandma, Blue's Big Treasure Hunt, 1999.

Reverend Mother, Nuncrackers, 2001.

Nancy Stringer, The Fighting Temptations, Paramount, 2003.

Dean Madison, Wit's End, 2004.



Rue McClanahan: The Dog Care Video Guide, 1990.

Rue McClanahan: The Cat Care Video Guide, 1990.


Stage Plays:

(With Norman Hartweg) Oedipus, Schmedipus, As Long As You Love Your Mother, 1986.



Parade, October 21, 2001, p. 22.

TV Guide, December 22, 2001, pp. 41–44.

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McClanahan, Rue 1934(?)–

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