It was sad news this morning when I awoke to hear Rue McClanahan had passed away very early in the morning hours today. Rue is best known for her role as Blanche Devereaux on the television series Golden Girls. Hard to believe now, but at the time the show was very controversial for its depicting an older generation of women as being sexually active, and the character Blanche was the most hot-to-trot of the four women in the cast.
Rue started appearing in film and television roles in the early 1960’s and had become a staple on television since the 1970s where she joined Bea Arthur on Maude as Vivian Harmon. She later became a regular for first season of Mama’s Family which was spun off of the Carol Burnett Show before Rue landed the role she would most be recognized for. Initially the producers of the show wanted Rue for the role of Rose as the character was similar to the one she played in Maude. Betty White was originally courted for the role of Blanche as it was very similar to her role as Sue Ann Nivans in the legendary Mary Tyler Moore Show. Fortunately, Rue and Betty weren’t interested in retreading characters similar to what they’ve done in the past and swapped the roles and the show and the show became legendary reaching audiences well outside of just the older crowd.
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Last week when I was introduced to Rosalind Russell’s “Auntie Mame” film from 1958, one of the hosts of the screening referred to the Lucille Ball lead musical version simply called “Mame” from 1974 as an abomination. Naturally, I felt obligated to see for myself how allegedly terrible this version is. And I didn’t find it horrible at all, in fact I quite enjoyed it.
To preface seeing both films, I should admit, I was actually introduced to the Original Broadway Cast recording by my Australian friend, Graeme Read, who is a big fan of the song “Open A New Window” and as a result of his introducing me to the song, I’ve actually had the cast album for a number of years now. I knew of Angela Landsbury through the “Murder She Wrote” series and Bea Arthur through both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Also my grandmother looked a lot like Bea Arthur, I’ve always felt like anything Bea did was a larger than life version of my grandma. So anytime I see Bea Arthur on “The Golden Girls” or play a song from “Mame” I am always reminded of my grandma.
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After having attended the last two San Diego Pride Parade’s in the last couple of years and having to work, I decided this year I was going to make sure I saved a few days of time off so that I could take part in the festivities this year. And with the Chantal Kreviazuk concert in Los Angeles last week, I decided to add a few more days to my time off request and as a result I was able to take part in quite a few activities.
On Tuesday night, after I had stopped by Jorge Cruise‘s office to say hello and show off the results of my 47 pounds of weight loss using his incredibly awesome Belly Fat Cure program, I treated myself to a late lunch at Which Wich sandwich shop in Hillcrest and then because I was in the area, I saw The Center for San Diego’s LGBT community was hosting a Bear Pride Bingo event that a lot of my local friends were attending, so I quickly sent in an RSVP and headed on over to the event. For $15 for a packet of bingo sheets, $2 for a dabber, and $1 for an optional game, I was set. I didn’t win any of the games but came very close on a few occasions. I did happen to know a couple people who did win, namely Vito Grandolfo and Tim Palmer. I even went with Vito and his friend Earl Shearin over to Brians’ American Eatery for a post-Bingo bite to eat. (Many thanks to Earl who wouldn’t let me pay for my meal.)
Continue reading Busy Week Full Of Pride In San Diego
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