The Life Of Rue Mcclanahan And Her Beloved Spouse


Rue McClanahan was a famous American actress known for her roles in television shows such as “The Golden Girls,” “Maude,” and “Mama’s Family.” She was born on February 21, 1934, in Healdton, Oklahoma, and passed away on June 3, 2010, in New York City. Rue was married six times throughout her life, but her most beloved spouse was Tom Bish, whom she married in 1997.

Early Life and Career

Rue McClanahan grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and attended Ardmore High School. She later attended the University of Tulsa, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and Theater. Rue began her acting career in the 1950s, appearing in various theater productions and television shows.

She made her Broadway debut in 1969 in the play “Jimmy Shine” and later appeared in several other Broadway productions. Rue became a household name in the 1970s when she starred in the television show “Maude” alongside Bea Arthur.

Marriages and Relationships

Rue McClanahan was married six times throughout her life. Her first marriage was to Tom Bish in 1958, but the couple divorced in 1959. She later married Norman Hartweg in 1964, but the couple divorced in 1973. Rue then married Peter DeMaio in 1976, but the couple divorced in 1981.

She married her fourth husband, Gus Fisher, in 1984, but the couple divorced in 1985. Rue then married her fifth husband, Tom Keel, in 1997, but the couple divorced in 2002. Finally, she married Tom Bish again in 1997, and they remained together until Rue’s death in 2010.

Tom Bish: Rue’s Most Beloved Spouse

Rue McClanahan’s most beloved spouse was Tom Bish, whom she married twice. Tom was a college professor and writer, and the couple met in 1958 while Rue was performing in a play at the University of Tulsa. They were married for only a year before divorcing, but they remained close friends throughout the years.

In 1997, Rue and Tom reconnected and decided to get married again. They were both in their sixties at the time, and Rue described their relationship as “a perfect match.” Tom was with Rue until her death in 2010, and she referred to him as “the love of my life.”

Rue McClanahan’s Legacy

Rue McClanahan was a beloved actress and personality who left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. She won an Emmy Award for her role as Blanche Devereaux in “The Golden Girls” and was nominated for several other awards throughout her career.

Rue was also a devoted animal rights activist and supported various organizations throughout her life. She was a vegetarian and often spoke out about the importance of animal welfare.


Rue McClanahan lived a full and exciting life, and her relationship with Tom Bish was one of the most significant aspects of her personal life. She will always be remembered as a talented actress, a dedicated animal rights activist, and a beloved spouse to Tom and her other partners throughout her life.