Monday, September 14, 2009

Rue McClanahan and the Archive of American Television

This morning, September 14, 2009, the Archive of American Television launched a new web site,, containing links to their complete, hours-long archival interviews with over 600 legends from all aspects of TV.

I have had the privilege of conducting quite a few of these interviews, and many of those are now available online. For example, there's my chat with Rue McClanahan at her home in New York -- the interview which did double-duty for me as research for my book, The Q Guide to the Golden Girls.

Having just attended Bea Arthur's memorial service here in New York this afternoon, where other giants we recently lost were evoked, like Larry Gelbart and Dom DeLuise, it's in the front of my mind that the people who brought this medium to life are fast leaving us. I'm so thankful that Karen Herman and her Archive of American Television have preserved some of their knowledge -- not to mention funny stories! -- for the generations to come.

Take a look at Rue -- who by the way, brought the house down at Bea's memorial. After telling at first a touching personal anecdote, she went on to tell a story of what Bea said to her husband a few years back about former Golden Girls co-star Betty White.

Let's just say, there's a certain c-word which was among Bea's favorites. There were plenty of f-bombs on stage today. (And off -- like Anne Meara, after she stumbled into me on her way up the aisle afterwards, yelling at me "move your fucking foot!" She's a charmer.) But in quoting Bea, Rue became the first and only tribute payer today to break the "c-word barrier."

Here, in the link below, Rue talks about her entire career -- she was even beginning at the time, I believe, to prepare to do Del Shores' Logo series, Sordid Lives. And there's plenty of Golden Girls dish, not to mention Rue's seamless transition into Blanche-speak. Enjoy!

Rue McClanahan | AAT

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