7 Must-Have Items from Rue McClanahan’s Estate Sale

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EstateofRue.com

Actress Rue McClanahan passed away in 2010, and even though she had a long list of acting credits—including regular roles on Maude and Mama’s Family, as well as multiple stage and film appearances—she will always be Blanche Devereaux in most minds. And, unlike a lot of actors who resent getting typecast, Rue embraced her Blanche-ness and actively collected souvenirs, props, and artifacts during her years on The Golden Girls with the intent of one day sharing them with her loyal fans. Mark LaRue, a close friend of McClanahan’s, launched a website last year in accordance with Rue’s wish—that, after her family and friends took their pick, the rest of her memorabilia be made available for sale to the public with the proceeds donated to her specified charities. A lot of the items are already sold, but we couldn’t resist putting together the ultimate wish list for the average rabid Golden Girls fan.

1. The Men of Blanche’s Boudoir Calendar

One year for Christmas, the Girls decided to eschew the crass commercialism of the holiday season and give each other homemade presents. Blanche’s gift to the other three is a calendar featuring explicit photos of some of her favorite male companions of the past year. Unbeknownst to either the actresses or the TV viewing audience, some playful prop masters had actually taped Playgirl-style pictures of some of the crew members (no pun intended) inside the booklet. Those reaction shots from Bea Arthur and the others were genuine.

2. Driver’s License

If this were Blanche's license, the year of birth would have been deleted by order of the governor. Used during her Maude days, McClanahan's license actually has three addresses on it.

3. Nunsense Keepsakes

In 1993, Rue starred as Reverend Mother in the TV movie version of the stage musical Nunsense. The estate has many items from the production, including these fans, which she then hung above the bed in her Manhattan apartment, and a cast-and-crew jacket.

4. Onex Taupe Leather Mules

Wouldn’t you love to step into these size 8 mediums, close your eyes and imagine the shoe salesman "caressing your calf as he kneels in front of you, tiny beads of perspiration breaking out on his forehead…? His breath gets shorter and quicker as he ever so gently slips the supple leather onto your quivering foot and you achieve a perfect fit…" Rue wore these mules on many episodes of The Golden Girls.

5. Sedatives and Heart Medications

For those occasions when you’re jumpier than a virgin at a prison rodeo and wound up tighter than a girdle on a Baptist minister’s wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Marilyn Monroe’s old prescription bottles sold for upwards of $18,000 each years ago, so maybe celebrity medicine could prove to be a good investment.

6. Bath Items

When sitting in a hot steamy bath with only enough water to cover your perky bosoms, a touch of Miss Dior Chérie Eau De Parfum adds some ambience. The chalice holding the bath nuggets is vintage etched glass trimmed with gold.

7. Silk Robe

Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Estelle Getty’s Golden Girls costumes were mostly off-the-rack pieces, while Rue’s were custom-made by designer Judy Evans. McClanahan very wisely had it written into her contract that she got to keep all of Blanche’s clothes, and she had 13 closets in her home filled with exquisite pieces like this. Cheesecake always tastes better when you’re clad in 100 percent silk.

What would be on your wish list if you had your pick of Blanche Devereaux’s keepsakes and a very large bank account?

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January 6, 2014 - 5:00pm
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