'Golden Girl' Rue McClanahan dies

NEW YORK (AP) - Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress who brought the sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux to life on the hit TV series "The Golden Girls," has died. She was 76.

Her manager Barbara Lawrence said McClanahan died Thursday at 1 a.m. of a stroke.

She had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997 and later lectured to cancer support groups on "aging gracefully." In 2009, she had heart bypass surgery.

Two fellow cast members of the "Golden Girls" died in the past two years. Estelle Getty died in 2008 and Bea Arthur died in 2009. Betty White, 88, is the fourth actress from the show, and she recently hosted "Saturday Night Live."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)