Rue McClanahan passes away at 76Associated Press is reporting that The Golden Girls star Rue McClanahan has passed away at the age of 76.

The actress' manager, Barbara Lawrence, said that McClanahan died from a stroke at 1 AM today in New York. Earlier this year the actress had suffered a minor stroke while recovering from a heart bypass surgery she had in 2009.

McClanahan had succeeded in theatrical productions before landing roles in TV series' such as Maude and Mama's Family, but she shot to worldwide fame in 1985 starring as sexually-charged Blanche Devereaux in the hit TV series The Golden Girls alongside Estelle Getty, Betty White and her Maude co-star Bea Arthur. McClanahan won an Emmy in 1987 for her work on the series.

Betty White, now the last surviving member of The Golden Girls, remembered her co-star as a great friend.

"I treasured our relationship," said White. "It hurts more than I even thought it would, if that's even possible."

One of McLanahan's final performances was a guest-starring stint on Law & Order and you can CLICK HERE to read a conference call interview McClanahan gave about her role.