Rue McClanahan

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Rue McClanahan (1934-2010) talks about her acting start on the stage and touchs on some of her feature films from the 1960s. She discusses her first regular role in television, as scheming nurse "Caroline Johnson" on Another World. She recalls how, when her character tries unsuccessfully to poison the mother of the twins she is caring for, she received a fan letter recommending a better poison. She speaks in great detail about her role as "Vivian Cavender," best friend to Bea Arthur on the television sitcom Maude. She describes her character, talks about working with the ensemble cast, and comments on memorable series episodes. McClanahan then talks about her work as series regular "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family. Finally, she discusses at length the production of the classic 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls and her role as "Blanche Devereaux." She talks about the casting process, working with the series production personnel and the transition of the show into The Golden Palace. Jim Colucci conducted the interview on May 4, 2006 in New York, NY.

"This was funny. These were great characters. We had a great hit on our hands, I knew it. Betty White was always astounded. She'd say, 'We got picked up for another 13!' I'd say, 'Betty, join the real world. This is a big hit.'" 

Highlights
Rue McClanahan on the switch to her playing "Blanche" on The Golden Girls (the role originally intended for Betty White)
00:52
Rue McClanahan on guest starring on the All in the Family episode "The Bunkers and the Swingers" (airdate: October 28, 1972)
03:22
Rue McClanahan on her favorite Maude episode "Feminine Fulfillment" (McClanahan refers to the episode as "The Man from Glad") (airdate: February 28, 1977)
02:28
Rue McClanahan on the controversial episode of Maude, "Maude's Dilemma"
Rue McClanahan on convincing Bea Arthur to be in The Golden Girls, and how the casting then fell into place
00:54
Rue McClanahan on requesting to be let out of her contract with Joseph Papp in order to work on Norman Lear's shows
05:55
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early years and interest in the theatre; on joining Another World
28:25

Chapter 2

On being fired from Another World
02:16
On her guest appearances on All in the Family
05:29
On co-starring in Maude
16:48

Chapter 3

On co-starring on Maude (cont.)
23:06
On co-starring on Mama's Family
06:24

Chapter 4

On starring in The Golden Girls
28:38

Chapter 5

On the end of The Golden Girls; on her then-recent projects
23:19
Shows

All in the Family

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Rue McClanahan on guest starring on the All in the Family episode "The Bunkers and the Swingers" (airdate: October 28, 1972)
03:22

Another World

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Rue McClanahan on being dropped from the soap Another World
02:03

Golden Girls, The

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Rue McClanahan on first getting the script for The Golden Girls
01:12
Rue McClanahan on the switch to her playing "Blanche" on The Golden Girls (the role originally intended for Betty White)
00:52
Rue McClanahan on convincing Bea Arthur to be in The Golden Girls, and how the casting then fell into place
00:54
Rue McClanahan on the real-life interactions of the stars of The Golden Girls
02:44

Mama's Family

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Rue McClanahan on co-starring in Mama's Family

Maude

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Rue McClanahan on being cast as Vivian on Maude
04:40
Rue McClanahan on the cast of Maude
06:34
Rue McClanahan on her favorite Maude episode "Feminine Fulfillment" (McClanahan refers to the episode as "The Man from Glad") (airdate: February 28, 1977)
02:28
Rue McClanahan on the controversial episode of Maude, "Maude's Dilemma"
Topics

Women

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Rue McClanahan on feminism during the Maude years
00:35
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Rue McClanahan on being dropped from the soap Another World
02:03
People

Beatrice Arthur

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Rue McClanahan on working with Beatrice Arthur on Maude
01:13
Rue McClanahan on convincing Beatrice Arthur to be in The Golden Girls, and how the casting then fell into place
00:54
Rue McClanahan on her personal relationship with Beatrice Arthur 
00:53

Hermione Baddeley

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Rue McClanahan on working with Hermione Baddeley on Maude
00:45

Conrad Bain

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Rue McClanahan on working with Conrad Bain on Maude
01:26

Adrienne Barbeau

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Rue McClanahan on working with Adrienne Barbeau on Maude
00:13

Vincent Gardenia

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Rue McClanahan on working with Vincent Gardenia in live theater
01:49

Estelle Getty

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Rue McClanahan on Estelle Getty
02:40

Charlie Hauck

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Rue McClanahan on working with producer Charlie Hauck on Maude
01:37

Norman Lear

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Rue McClanahan on requesting to be let out of her contract with Joseph Papp in order to work on Norman Lear's shows
05:55

Bill Macy

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Rue McClanahan on working with Bill Macy on Maude
02:02

Carroll O'Connor

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Rue McClanahan on working with Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor when she guest starred in an episode of All in the Family
00:32

Joseph Papp

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Rue McClanahan on requesting to be let out of her contract with Joseph Papp in order to work on Norman Lear's shows
05:55

Esther Rolle

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Rue McClanahan on working with Esther Rolle on Maude
00:16

Jean Stapleton

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Rue McClanahan on working with Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor when she guest starred in an episode of All in the Family
00:32

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