All in the Family TV show Wiki
Rue McClanahan
Rue McClanahan
Rue McClanahan made an appearance as swinger Ruth Rempley in the Season 3 episode of All in the Family titled "The Bunkers and the Swingers". She also played the part of Vivian Harmon on its spinoff series Maude.
Personal Information
Birthname: Eddi-Rue McClanahan
Gender: Female
Born: (1934-02-21)February 21, 1934
Birthplace: Healdton, Oklahoma, U.S.
Died: June 3, 2010(2010-06-03) (aged 76)
Deathplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Years active: 1957-2010, her death
Character/Series involvement
Series: All in the Family (as guest)
Maude (TV series) (as cast regular)
Episodes appeared in: AITF: "The Bunkers and the Swingers" in Season 2
Maude: 101 episodes in series
Character played: as Ruth Rempley/Vivian Harmon
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Rue McClanahan (born February 21, 1934 - died June 3, 2010) appeared on All in the Family as Ruth Rempley in the episode "The Bunkers and The Swingers" in Season 3. She would later play the part of Vivian Harmon on AITF's spinoff series Maude as a cast regular.

Early Life[]

Rue was born Eddi-Rue McClanahan[1] in Healdton, Oklahoma, the daughter of Dreda Rheua-Nell (née Medaris), a beautician, and William Edwin "Bill" McClanahan (July 4, 1908 – February 20, 1999)[2] a building contractor.[1][3][4] She and her family were Methodists[5]

Rue was of Irish and Choctaw ancestry. Her Choctaw great-grandfather was named Running Hawk according to her autobiography My First Five Husbands... and the Ones Who Got Away (2007). She grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and graduated from Ardmore High School. McClanahan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Tulsa, where she majored in German and Theater and joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.[1] She was also a National Honor Society Member.

TV Career[]

A veteran television actress and Broadway star of the 50s, Rue was a veteran stage actress who was noticed by television executive, Norman Lear. Lear cast her in a number of television shows, including All in the Family, where she played one half of a married couple which had a habit of swinging and in this case attempted to swap with Archie Bunker, and its spinoff Maude (1972), where she appeared in the main cast as Vivian Cavaneder opposite Bea Arthur and Bill Macy. She had appeared earlier in the groundbreaking LGBT film, Some of My Best Are... McClanahan next co-starred with Vicki Lawerence, as well as Betty White, in Mama's Family (1983) for three years, and after it was canceled by NBC, McClanahan was probably best known for her role as the saucy, sharp southern belle, Blanche, in The Golden Girls (1985), where Rue worked with Bea Arthur and Betty White once more, and with relative newcomer Estelle Getty. All four of the women won Emmy awards for their roles. After Bea Arthur left the show after seven seasons, McClanahan, White and Getty returned for a brief spin-off in The Golden Palace, (1992).

Illness and Passing[]

In 1997, Rue was diagnosed with breast cancer, but was able to fight it successfully. McClanahan also spent her time joining and helping organizations against cancer, AIDS, and cruelty against animals. She died on June 3, 2010 in New York City, after a stroke.


Like her All In The Family character Ruth Rempley. McClanahan had dysfunctional marriages which were sometimes open. She even stated in her autography that she swung with All In The Family creator Norman Lear's friend Darren Rogers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rue McClanahan Biography. Retrieved on 2010-06-03.
  2. William Edwin "Bill" McClanahan at Find a Grave. Retrieved on 2012-1-20.
  3. Rue McClanahan Biography (1934?-). Retrieved on 2010-06-06.
  4. Palm eBook store: Excerpt from My First Five Husbands... And the Ones Who Got Away,McClanahan, Rue (2007). . Broadway Group, Doubleday Books, Random House. ISBN 978-0-7679-2694-2.
  5. TV Legends who were Methodists

External Links[]