Thursday, June 03, 2010

Golden Girls Star Rue McClanahan Dies at 76

"She passed away at 1 a.m. this morning," her manager, Barbara Lawrence tells PEOPLE. She had a massive stroke."

McClanahan, who played Blanche Deveraux in the beloved sitcom, Golden Girls, had suffered a minor stroke earlier this year while recovering from bypass surgery. Lawrence added that at the time of her death Thursday, McClanahan “had her family with her. She went in peace.”

Still in syndication, Golden Girls ran on NBC from 1985 to 1992. Only last year, McClanahan's costar, Beatrice Arthur, died from cancer. Estelle Getty died in 2008. Surviving star Betty White is currently enjoying a remarkable resurgence in her career, having recently hosted Saturday Night Live.

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