Betty White & More React To Rue McClanahan's Death

The stars are coming forward to pay tribute to Rue McClanahan, the TV legend and “The Golden Girls” star who died early on Thursday.

“Rue was a close and dear friend,” Betty White, Rue’s “Golden Girls” co-star, said in a statement to Access Hollywood. “I treasured our relationship. It hurts more than I even thought it would, if that’s even possible.”

Another “The Golden Girls” collaborator also offered fond memories of the star.

“When I worked on ‘The Golden Girls’, my favorite character to write for was Blanche Devereaux. In the hands of lesser actresses Blanche’s vanity and sexual appetite would have been off-putting. But in Rue’s brilliant hands, that character became one of the most beloved in the history of T.V.,” Marc Cherry said in a statement to Access. “Rue’s kindness, generosity and enormous talent will be sorely missed.”

Beyond Betty and Marc, a number of stars took to Twitter on Thursday to pay their respects…

“Sad news to report…Golden Girls actress Rue McClanahan died this morning of a stroke. Her family and friends are in our thoughts.” — Larry King

“Rest in peace my dear dear Rue :(” -Jason Dottley

“Oh no! I’m tearing up! Rue McLanahan has died. She was my favorite Golden Girl. It’s a sad, sad day. :((((” — Rose McGowan

“Ah beloved Blanche passes away - Rue McClanahan RIP. She was so lovely and such a spitfire. It’s just Rose now.” — Marlee Matlin

“RIP rue mcclanahan. sending love and prayers to her loved ones…..” — Mandy Moore

“RIP… This makes me sad. ;-(” — Jay Manuel

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.