Friday, 15 January 2010

Golden Girl Rue McClanahan Suffers a Stroke

Golden Girl and former Broadway star Rue McClanahan, has sadly suffered a stroke while recovering from bypass surgery that she received in November. As previously reported, the actress underwent the surgery to treat an acute cardiac illness.

Doctors were reportedly successful in removing the blood clot that caused the stroke, which occurred soon after the surgery, but McClanahan's recovery has been slow. She spent two weeks in the ICU and is now in a nursing facility having completed rehab. Says her husband Matthew Wilson: "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. She's going to require a lot more physical and speech therapy - but at least it's not like I stay awake at nights any more thinking that Rue is going to die."

McClanahan began acting on Off-Broadway in New York City in 1957, and her Broadway debut in 1969 when she portrayed Sally Weber in the original production of John Sebastian and Murray Schisgal's musical Jimmy Shine with Dustin Hoffman in the title role. She went on to star on Broadway in Father's Day, Sticks and Bones, California Suite, The Women, and Wicked. McClanahanthen found primetime success in Maude, broadcast from 1972 to 1978, playing Maude's (Bea Arthur) best friend, Vivian Harmon; and, of course, in The Golden Girls, broadcast from 1985 until 1992 as Southern Belle Blanche Devereaux. She received an Emmy Award in 1987 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on The Golden Girls.

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