The singer-songwriter worked with luminaries like Linda Ronstadt, Art Garfunkel, Celine Dion, James Taylor and Sir Paul McCartney in the '70s, but he was most famous for the iconic tune 'Thank You For Being a Friend,' which was used as the theme song for 'The Golden Girls' during the sitcom's seven-year run.
Gold died Friday of a heart attack in Los Angeles at age 59. You know what this means -- Betty White will truly outlive us all.
After the jump, sing along with us as we honor Gold's life (and amazing contribution to the TV landscape).
So, in honor of the 'Golden Girls' birthday, we compiled fun facts and clips from the classic NBC sitcom.
Some of the tidbits so startling, you might want to reach for that extra ginkoba (yes, that is George Clooney!).
In the spring of 2006, I had the excuse to revisit old favorite 'Golden' episodes, all in the name of journalism. And even better, I had the opportunity to interview Bea Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan in their respective homes, where I could not only ask them outright about their careers, but could also observe firsthand a small slice of their own real lives. For a gay man who had grown up on Dorothy Zbornak's quips and Blanche Devereaux's steamy sex stories, this was fantasy camp.
With her sixth husband, Morrow Wilson, not at home when I arrived at her apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Rue answered the door in a bathrobe, fresh from the shower. Then, because this interview was going to be captured on video for the Archive of American Television (it's now viewable, in fact, here), I was able to watch as the Oklahoma native, then 72, went into makeup, transforming gradually into a certain beautiful, carefully coiffed Miami slut.
Rue was a master at making sexy fun, and she imbued her 'Golden Girl' alter ego, Blanche Devereaux, with all the passion and lust of a woman half her age. It made her character hilarious and lovable, but beneath the comedy was a real message about believing in your own sexual attractiveness no matter how old you are.
Writer Susan Harris created the character of Blanche, but it was Rue McClanahan who made her so memorable. As Blanche, she was overtly sexual and proud of it. She loved men and loved that men loved her back. Her beaus came in all shapes and sizes, ethnicities and ages. If you were a guy, you were on Blanche's radar.
McClanahan, who died today at age 76, played Blanche for seven seasons on the hugely successful NBC sitcom, and garnered more than enough laughs, tears and, in Blanche's case, men to earn a permanent slot in television history.
To honor McClanahan's Emmy-winning turn on the series, relive our favorite Blanche Deveraux moments, then post your favorites in the comments.
In what was already a sad week in entertainment, Rue McClanahan passed away this morning from a massive stroke at the age of 76.
This leaves the resurgent Betty White as the only one of the 'Golden Girls' quartet who's still with us, a remarkable thought considering that it didn't seem like that long ago when White, McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty were all making us laugh on Saturday nights.
Most people know McClanahan from her 'Girls' role of sexy senior Blanche Devereaux. But McClanahan's on-screen career stretches back almost fifty years, and she's been featured in a number of interesting television roles before and since her years on that lanai in Miami.
Here are some of the more interesting parts of Rue's career you may or may not have known about:
After doing radio and summer stock back in the 1940s, White's big break came as the "telephone girl" on a live, local Los Angeles show, 'Hollywood on Television,' hosted by popular DJ Al Jarvis. With all honors to Lucille Ball and 'I Love Lucy,' that gig led to the creation of one of the first female-driven sitcoms, 'Life with Elizabeth.' The TV skies were the limit from there.
You will not forget this anytime soon.
[via Kate Aurthur]
Lifetime is going to honor Estelle Getty, who died yesterday at the age of 84, with a marathon of Golden Girls episodes.
The 10 episode marathon will start at noon this Friday with the pilot episode (the Sophia character looked a lot different in the first few episodes, if I remember correctly). The episodes have been picked because they focus on Sophia.
Fans will get a chance to vote on which episode ends the marathon, the episode they think shows Getty and Sophia the best. MyLifetime.com has narrowed down it down to five episodes: "It's A Miserable Life," "Sisters," "Old Friends," "My Brother, My Father," and "Old Boyfriends." And if you don't know the plots by the episode titles (you'd have to be a Golden Girls fanatic for that), the site gives you a quick synopsis of each one.
Lady Godiva was a freedom rider
She didn't care if the whole world looked
Joan of Arc with the Lord to guide her
She was a sister who really cooked
If you've never seen the groundbreaking 70s sitcom Maude, then you missed the theme song. It was cowritten by Dave Grusin! (It also has the line "Isadora was the first bra burner, ain't you glad she showed up? And when this country was falling apart, Betsy Ross got it all sewed up!" That's excellent.).
Yes, Maude is coming to DVD.
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