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Monitor: Remembering Rue McClanahan

Plus Jane Lynch, Chace Crawford and more celebrities making news the week of June 11, 2010

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MARRIED
Glee‘s Jane Lynch, 49, tied the knot with psychologist Lara Embry May 31 in Sunderland, Mass…. Alanis Morissette, 36, wed rapper Souleye (real name: Mario Treadway), 30, in L.A. on May 22…. Rush Limbaugh, 59, married Kathryn Rogers, 33, June 5 in Palm Beach, Fla. It’s the fourth wedding for the right-wing radio host, who surprisingly hired Elton John to perform…. On May 28, Ian Ziering (90210), 46, wed Erin Ludwig in Newport Beach, Calif…. Prince of Persia‘s Gemma Arterton, 24, married fashion exec Stefano Catelli, 37, in Andalucía, Spain, on June 5.

BIRTHS
On June 2, Kevin Costner, 55, and wife Christine Baumgartner, 36, welcomed their third child, Grace Avery, in L.A. The actor-director also has four children from previous relationships.

ADOPTED
Sheryl Crow, 48, announced June 4 that she adopted a 1-month-old son, Levi James. The singer also adopted son Wyatt, 3, in 2007.

EXPECTING
Céline Dion, 42, and husband/manager René Angélil, 68, are expecting twins this winter.

SPLITS
Former vice president Al Gore, 62, and wife Tipper, 61, announced June 1 that they are separating after 40 years of marriage…. Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell), 36, and wife of 14 years Lisa Ann Russell, 38, have separated.

ARRESTED
Chace Crawford, 24, was arrested June 4 in Plano, Tex., for misdemeanor marijuana possession when cops allegedly found a joint in his car. The Gossip Girl star reportedly posted bond that day and was released…. On May 31, Mexican authorities issued an arrest warrant for Bruce Beresford-Redman, 39, the former Survivor producer who has been accused of killing his wife, Monica, during a Cancún vacation. ”I am incensed at the suggestion that I could have had anything to do with her death,” he said in a statement. ”I am innocent.”

DEATHS
Marvin Isley, the youngest member of the R&B group the Isley Brothers, died of complications from diabetes in Chicago on June 6. He was 56. — With additional reporting by Stewart Allen


BIRTHDAYS
Shia LaBeouf, 24
June 11

Hugh Laurie, 51
June 11

The Olsen twins, 24
June 13

Courteney Cox, 46
June 15

Neil Patrick Harris, 37
June 15


Remembering Rue McClanahan (1934-2010)
Growing older never looked sexier than it did on Rue McClanahan. The Golden Girls star died June 3 in New York City at age 76 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. She left behind a distinctive legacy: that women of a certain age could be vivacious, voracious, fun — and, more than anything, hilarious. ”Rue was funny walking into a room,” says producer Norman Lear, who cast her on All in the Family and then Maude. ”Her earlobes were funny. Her knuckles were funny. She was just funny.”

Born Eddi-Rue McClanahan in Healdton, Okla., she moved to New York to pursue acting, and appeared in a string of theater and small movie roles. A chance meeting with Lear led first to a memorable guest role as a swinger on All in the Family, then to a stint as Bea Arthur’s sheltered best friend on Maude. She appeared on Vicki Lawrence’s Carol Burnett spin-off, Mama’s Family, as well, before taking the role of a lifetime in 1985, playing Southern vamp Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls.

She became part of an indelible foursome with Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty, and Betty White — and won an Emmy for her work in 1987. ”In the hands of lesser actresses, Blanche’s vanity and sexual appetite would have been off-putting,” Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, who spent his early career writing for Girls, said in a statement. ”But in Rue’s brilliant hands, that character became one of the most beloved in the history of TV.” White added: ”Rue was a close and dear friend. I treasured our relationship.”

In recent years, McClanahan appeared on Broadway in Wicked and on Logo’s 2008 series Sordid Lives — even touring with Lives costar Leslie Jordan. ”She was in a wheelchair, and rather than stand-up comedy, she called it sit-down comedy,” Jordan recalls. ”She had that audience in the palm of her hand. She was a lady, but she was a bawdy lady. She could get down.” — Jennifer Armstrong

Thank you for being a friend! A look back at McClanahan’s best moments on The Golden Girls.

”To Catch a Neighbor” (1987)
When two cops bunk with the girls in order to stake out their suspicious new neighbors, Blanche shows her maternal side with the younger police officer, played by George Clooney.

”Scared Straight” (1988)
Blanche’s brother, Clayton, comes to Florida for a visit, and after Blanche attempts to set him up on blind dates with various women, he eventually confides that he is gay.

”The One That Got Away” (1988)
Blanche reconnects with ”Ham” Lushbaugh, the only man who ever rejected her. He’s portly now — but he somehow (!) remains determined to avoid her advances.

”Ebb Tide” (1989)
Blanche’s father urges her to return home because he is sick, but she decides to stay in Miami. When Big Daddy passes away, Blanche heads back for the funeral and deals with her guilt.

”Mrs. George Devereaux” (1990)
Blanche has an elaborate dream in which her dead husband, George, returns and reveals he staged his own death. Plus, she imagines that Dorothy is wooed by Sonny Bono and Lyle Waggoner. — Tim Stack


Gary Coleman’s death sparks feud
Iconic former child star Gary Coleman died of a brain hemorrhage May 28 after falling and hitting his head in his Utah home. He was 42. Coleman had appeared on sitcoms like The Jeffersons and Good Times in the ’70s before securing his most memorable role as the baby-faced Arnold Jackson on Diff’rent Strokes from 1978 to 1986. His death prompted a messy public spat between his ex-wife — who made the press rounds — and his estranged parents. Their squabbling over the actor’s burial location proved pointless, however: A will surfaced naming an executor, former manager Dion Mial, and funeral plans were finally being made as of press time. — Keith Staskiewicz

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