Despite being married more than five times in her lifetime, Rue McClanahan managed to maintain a successful career. She portrayed Blanche Devereaux on NBC’s “Golden Girls” and won an Emmy for her work. She also wrote a memoir about her life, “My First Five Husbands…and the Ones Who Got Away.”
Born in Silver City, New Mexico, McClanahan went to Oklahoma for her childhood. She attended the University of Tulsa, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in German. McClanahan began her career off-Broadway in 1957, working in theater and summer stock. She went on to receive an Obie Award for her performance in “Who’s Happy Now?”
McClanahan’s first marriage, to actress Elaine Mahnken, was short-lived. Their divorce was finalized in 1958. Her second marriage, to actor Tom Bish, was a brief two-year relationship. When her son was thirteen, she left him. She thought this would be the last marriage she would ever be in. However, she ended up marrying actor Morrow Wilson in 1997. She also had a son, Mark, with her first husband. McClanahan had heart bypass surgery in 2009. In 1997, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent treatment and recovered. Her health deteriorated while she was married. After her marriage was over, she paid out a pricey financial settlement. She later wrote about her affairs with Brad Davis, who was nine years older than her son.
McClanahan’s first husband, Norman Hartweg, had a long career in the theater, film, and television industry. After a separation, Hartweg became a close friend of McClanahan. McClanahan also married actors Tom Keel and Gus Fisher. In 2007, she wrote an autobiography about her marriages.
Rue McClanahan married six times in her life. She married Norman Hartweg, Tom Keel, Gus Fisher, Peter DeMaio, and Morrow Wilson. McClanahan was nominated for an Emmy award for her role on “Golden Girls.” She also won one Emmy award for her role as Vivian Harmon on “Mauret.”
She married Peter DeMaio in 1964, and had an affair with him. She wrote about her affair with him in her memoir. She called him “the Italian” in her book. McClanahan also wrote about her divorce with Sam “Gussie” Fisher in 1976. McClanahan divorced Fisher in 1979, and she was later married to actor Tom Keel. McClanahan was also married to actor Tom Bish in 1958. After her second marriage, McClanahan was married to actor Morrow Wilson in 1997. She and Wilson had a long relationship and thought it would be their last marriage. They believed they would have a child together. However, McClanahan left the relationship after her husband gave her an ultimatum.
McClanahan had a long career in film, television, and theater. She had roles in “The Best Laid Plans,” “Annie,” and “Jimmy Shine.” She also played the starring role in the Broadway revival of “The Women” in 2006. McClanahan was nominated for three Golden Globes, winning one. She was also a member of the National Honor Society. McClanahan also appeared in a number of television shows, including “Another World,” “Maude,” and “California Suite.” She also guest-starred on “Newhart” and “Murder, She Wrote.” In 1997, she voiced Scarlett in Fox’s Christmas special, “Annabelle’s Wish.”
Rue McClanahan died of a massive stroke on Thursday, November 27, 2007. She was 68 years old. McClanahan’s net worth was estimated at 40 to 60 million dollars. She has a nephew, Brendan Kinkade.
During her days in Hollywood, Hedy Lamarr was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. She also had a remarkable mind and a talent for inventions. But her career didn’t last as long as some of her fans would like. After a decade of decline, she finally died in 2000. She was known to have inspired the Snow White character in Disney movies.
When Lamarr was young, her mother placed her in ballet and piano lessons. She also attended an acting school in Berlin. She was attracted to the arts and sciences and would talk with her father about science and technology. At age 16, Lamarr was discovered by director Max Reinhardt and began a career in film.
After moving to the United States in 1937, Lamarr met a man named Louis B. Mayer, who would later become head of MGM studios. Although Mayer was skeptical about Lamarr’s potential for success in the States, he offered her a six-month contract for $150 a week. Lamarr subsequently appeared in the films White Cargo, Boom Town, and Lady of the Tropics. Her acting talent proved to be impressive and she gained fame as a glamorous seductress. She was eventually cast in a lead role in the film Ecstasy. This film was a controversial one. The film was banned in Germany and Pope Pius XII denounced it. The movie had a limited run in the United States, but it became internationally famous.
She developed a drug addiction while filming. She used sleeping pills and pep pills to enhance her performance. She would also take amphetamines and plastic surgery, which were used to enhance the appearance of celebrities. Her behavior began to be erratic. In addition to her acting career, Lamarr also acted as a producer for her own production company. In 1953, she became an American citizen.
Hedy Lamarr was also a pioneer in wireless communication technology. Her inventions include a device that uses frequency hopping to avoid jamming. This invention is now a component of cellular phone technology. During World War II, Lamarr was involved in devising a communication system that would help the Allies. She also helped Howard Hughes improve the wing designs of airplanes.
After her marriage to Mandl, Lamarr became disenchanted with the wealth and power of Mandl’s munitions manufacturing company. Hedy Lamarr also met George Antheil, an eccentric creative force who was known for his music compositions and experimental writing. When Lamarr and Antheil began devising ideas to counter the axis powers, Lamarr was instrumental. Her inventions were the basis for wireless communication technology.
Although her career began to decline, Lamarr continued to accumulate credits in films. She was cast in several Oscar-nominated films and became a celebrity. She also became the first female producer in Hollywood. After her death, Lamarr was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She received numerous awards for her inventions. She also was the first woman to receive the Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award.
As a scientist during World War II, Lamarr worked to develop a new communication system that would minimize the jamming of radio signals. Lamarr also developed knowledge about guided torpedoes and radio-controlled weapons. She sold war bonds to support the war effort. She later became an advocate for plastic surgery.