Friday, June 04, 2010

My Weekend Crush

I had another crush picked out for this weekend, but then Rue McClanahan passed yesterday and all other crushes were rendered obsolete immediately. Because Rue is a crush for the ages. She was a woman of style and spunk, sophistication and salaciousness who refused to be slut shamed. That, by the way, was a big deal. Women who sleep around on screen have not always been treated kindly, let alone beloved. But as the delightfully desirous, unapologetically amorous Blanche Devereaux you couldn’t help but love Rue. She was the Southern Belle who could ring your bell in the bedroom, and was happy to bellow about it to anyone who would listen. She represented a shamelessly sex-positive image of a woman of a certain age that was practically unheard of – even today.

In real life she embraced the role with the same bravado. She famously wrote in her 2007 memoir, “My First Five Husbands…And the Ones Who Got Away,” about her similarities with Blanche: “People always ask me if I’m like Blanche. And I say, ‘Well, Blanche was an oversexed, self-involved, man-crazy, vain Southern belle from Atlanta—and I’m not from Atlanta!’” She was a staunch supporter of the gay community. In 1971 starred in the gay film “Some of My best Friends Are…” and her last role was on the gay family comedy “Sordid Lives” for Logo. And then there were all those years with The girls. She also championed animal rights and was, by all accounts, just a fantastic lady to have worked with, befriended and just shared the planet with.

Then there were those one-liners:

“I’m tired of lying on my back….did I just say that?”

“Like I’m the only person who’s ever mixed a margarita in a sailor’s mouth!”

“You know how fragile men’s egos are. Do the smallest thing such as scream out the wrong name and they go to pieces.”

“I swear with God as my witness, I will never pick up another man! In a library ... on a Saturday ... unless he’s cute ... and drives a nice car ... Amen.”

Rose: “Is it possible to be in love with two men at the same time?”
Blanche: “Well, let’s set the scene – have we been drinking?”

And, well, there was her love of the Lebanese.

Thank you, Rue. For being fabulous, for being fearless, for being – as always – a friend. Happy weekend, all.


Norma Desmond said...

I have nothing to say other than this was completely necessary. RIP Rue.

R A R A said...

Rest in peace, Rue.

vita said...

Thank you, Rue. You were one hell of a classy lady.

Anonymous said...

RIP Rue. Thank you for all the heartwarming memories.

elliB said...

It made me even more sad when I realized that all three of those lovely ladies in that clip have left us already. Betty White better stick around!

Anonymous said...

I've been aware, and been a fan of her since she and Bea Arthur were in Maude, so that's close to 40 years. I'll miss her.

Forever said...

My girlfriend and I started rewatching The Golden Girls (in order) a couple of weeks ago. When I heard the news yesterday, I thought it was a fitting tribute that we start season three just like we had planned. It was slightly bittersweet watching her on the screen last night, but of course, it was also a joy, as it always is.

What an amazing woman she was.

JayFish said...

I love your writing, generally. But you write a great homage.

Mandi said...

I love the girls and sad to see her go.

Making Space said...

End of an era. Thanks for the tribute, and the hilarious quotes.

Anonymous said...

Lovely obit D_S.
Rue = STAR