RUE McCLANAHAN: SAD, TRAGIC LAST DAYS OF A GOLDEN GIRL

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Golden Girl RUE McCLANAHAN has passed at 76 and her last days were far from peaceful, The ENQUIRER reports exclusively.

Rue, who starred as sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux on the hit TV show suffered one last stroke this morning at 1 AM, her rep confirmed.

The ENQUIRER previously reported in our January 15, 2010 online edition that as Rue was in the midst of a life and death struggle with a failing heart, her marriage to her sixth husband Morrow Wilson was collapsing in divorce.

After Rue’s triple bypass heart surgery on November 4, 2009, Morrow revealed in an exclusive interview that as heart surgeons strove to save her, Rue suffered a stroke.

"Rue was paralyzed on the right side of her body and could not speak," Morrow told The ENQUIRER exclusively.

"After the stroke, doctors performed this procedure where they put this ‘snake’ up the carotid artery, into the blood vessels of the brain.

"The point of this was to squirt some dissolver into the blood clot."

In the six hours neurosurgeons worked on saving Rue’s life, Wilson said they spent three of them attempting to dissolve the clot.

"But they failed," he noted sadly.

The rep added that Rue was “surrounded by family and at peace” when she died.

With Rue’s passing that leaves BETTY WHITE, who’s enjoying a career resurgence, as the sole surviving Golden Girl.

“Rue was a close and dear friend. I treasured our relationship,” Betty, 88, said. “It hurts more than I ever thought it would, if that’s even possible.”

(see previous ENQUIRER coverage BELOW)
First posted: 12:15 EDT

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