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NEW YORK — Rue McClanahan, the Emmy-winning actress who brought the sexually liberated Southern belle Blanche Devereaux to life on the hit TV series “The Golden Girls,” has died. She was 76.

Her manager, Barbara Lawrence, said Ms. McClanahan died Thursday at 1 a.m. at New York-Presbyterian Hospital of a brain hemorrhage.

She had undergone treatment for breast cancer in 1997 and later lectured to cancer support groups on “aging gracefully.” In 2009, she had heart bypass surgery.

Ms. McClanahan had an active career in off-Broadway and regional stages in the 1960s before she was tapped for TV in the 1970s for the key best-friend character on the hit series “Maude,” starring Beatrice Arthur. After that series ended in 1978, Ms. McClanahan landed the role as Aunt Fran on “Mama’s Family” in 1983.

But her most loved role came in 1985 when she co-starred with Ms. Arthur, Betty White and Estelle Getty in “The Golden Girls,” a runaway hit that broke the sitcom mold by focusing on the foibles of four aging, and frequently eccentric, women living together in Miami.


Police: Black man fatally shot, dragged

NEWBERRY — The shooting death of a black man whose body was dragged for several miles is being investigated as a possible hate crime after the arrest of a white man he worked with, South Carolina’s state police chief said.

Gregory Collins, 19, is charged with murder and made his first court appearance Thursday. No bond was set and he did not have an attorney, Newberry County Magistrate Ron Halfacre said.

The FBI was in Newberry County in central South Carolina on Wednesday assisting in the investigation of the shooting death of Anthony Hill, 30, state law enforcement division Director Reggie Lloyd told the State newspaper.

“We don’t yet have a definitive motive for all this,” Mr. Lloyd said.

Mr. Hill’s body was found about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday on U.S. Highway 176. Newberry County sheriff’s deputies followed a trail of blood from Mr. Hill’s body back to Mr. Collins’ mobile home.


Girl, lesbian mom may have fled U.S.

MONTPELIER — An 8-year-old girl at the heart of a long-running child custody fight between former lesbian partners may have fled to Central America with her birth mother, a lawyer for one of the women said.

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