Listen up, Classic Sitcom Fans: A Golden Girl needs our good vibes…..Actress Rue McClanahan suffered a stroke while recovering from a heart bypass operation last November.
McClanahan is best remembered as aging vamp “Blanche Devereaux” on the comedy smash The Golden Girl, which aired on NBC from 1985 to 1992.
The actress’ husband, Morrow Wilson, tells GLOBE that Rue collapsed in a New York City hospital a week after undergoing surgery. Doctors managed to remove a blood clot, but the 75-year-old is still struggling to walk and talk nearly two months later.
“Then, her right leg began to move and, not long afterward, she was able to walk a bit. They kept her in ICU (intensive care) for two weeks and then put her into the rehab center. She’s come out of that and is now in a nursing facility,” says Wilson, who married Rue 12 years ago. “She can understand what you are saying in conversation, but still has some trouble speaking. Her speech is slower than it once was and she hasn’t completely recovered on the right side of her body.”
Rue’s is the latest is a series of health dramas for the former cast of The Golden Girls; Estelle Getty (“Sophia”) died in 2008 and Bea Arthur (“Dorothy”) lost her battle against cancer last April. While Rue — who also appeared on the ’80s series Mama’s Family — is lucky to be alive, the stroke has taken its toll on the beloved celeb, says her spouse. The road to recovery will be a lengthy one.
“She’s going to require a lot more physical and speech therapy… but at least it’s not like I stay awake at nights anymore thinking that Rue is going to die.”