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Golden Girl Rue McClanahan's Death Goes Viral Five Years Later

Golden Girl Rue McClanahan's Death Goes Viral Five Years Later


Social media users are sharing the 'breaking news' of McClanahan's death -- which happened in 2010 -- by the thousands.

Rue McClanahan, beloved by millions of LGBT viewers for her role as sassy Blanche Devereaux on Golden Girls,died five years ago-- but don't tell the Internet that.

Yesterday the star's name began trending on Twitter and Facebook, with an outpouring of grief over her death, with fans sharing the "shocking" news and paying tribute. Only they forgot one thing: to check the date on the articles announcing her death.

McClanahan died June 3, 2010, after suffering a stroke at age 76. CBS News-- whose obituary has been the epicenter of the phenomenon -- speculates that the viral mourning may have started with fans commemorating the fifth anniversary of her death last week. That message, passing between social media users like a virtual game of Telephone, seems to have then lost some key information along the way.

And most curious of all: this isn't the first time this has happened. Last year, Facebook and Twitter users shared the "news" of McClanahan's passing with the same gusto.

Meanwhile, not everyone has gotten swept up in the moment, instead replying with 140 characters worth of snark.

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Mitch Kellaway