June 3, 2010

And Then There Was One

Blanche Devereaux wasn't a great literary character, and she didn't change the world, but when Rue McClanahan brought her to life, she changed attitudes. Of course she had plenty of help from the other Golden Girls, Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Betty White.

Rue McClanahan's passing this morning at the age of 76 came far too soon. When the Golden Girls began in 1985, those of us who were 20-somethings thought all the ladies were pretty far along in life. Now I realize "Blanche" was 51, which somehow doesn't seem all that far along to me now. =)

We loved the show because all four ladies managed to make us see that women can age gracefully, and have fun throughout their lives. They taught us that you can be both more relaxed and more attractive as you get older. They taught us the importance of caring more about what you think of yourself, and less about what others think of you. They made aging seem much more appealing than we had ever thought possible. While dating was a big part of the show, they also showed us that there is no shame in singleness. Early on, McClanahan told the New York Times that they wanted people to see "that when people mature, they add layers. They don't turn into other creatures. The truth is we all still have our child, our adolescent and your young woman living in us."

And now, at 88 (and-a-half), only Betty White is left. She's the Energizer Bunny of the group. Her recent stint on SNL showed us, once again, that women can age gracefully and have fun throughout their lives. She even has a new show starting on TV Land in a couple of weeks. She will play the caretaker of a house rented by Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, and Wendie Malick. It may not be the Golden Girls, but with a strong cast it might just make it. From the clips I've seen, it looks live Betty White is channeling another great character, Sue Ann Niven, along with Sophia Petrillo. Take a look...

Here's hoping that Betty White continues to have a long run!


  1. hee hee! boy, did i need that laugh!

    i adored the golden girls and am very
    sad we have lost rue.

    what a great expose' on a show with
    such a funny, positive spin on aging.

    it'll be a rue's age before we get another

  2. What a great cast on Betty White's new show!!

    I always love Golden Girls reruns (I was a baby when it aired). Revolutionary and hilarious show.

  3. Gringationcancun - I think the Golden Girls was actually more popular with your generation than with mine, at least when it originally aired. I watched it more in reruns than I ever did in its first run!

  4. Found you through the Tea Party and love the site -- following happily!

  5. LOVE Golden Girls! Very high up at the top of my favorite series list!

  6. I just LOVE the Golden Girls!!! I was sad to hear of her death. She was good in a lot of roles aside from this...but I believe we will all remember her best for her part in Golden Girls!

    :-) Let's hope I age as well as all those ladies did/Have!