PETA Senior Vice President Dan Mathews: To Rue From PETA: Thank You for Being a Friend:
“Back in the ’80s, when many people still thought that PETA was a Middle Eastern bread, a funny actor from Oklahoma became our first champion in Hollywood and helped establish the organization as a household name. She was Rue McClanahan, the flirty “Golden Girl,” and she became so active that she was PETA’s honorary director for almost three decades. I was still PETA’s receptionist when I wrote to Rue and asked if she would star in our first anti-fur commercial. You can imagine my delight when I answered the phone to hear Rue say that not only would she do it, she had gotten Bea Arthur and Betty White to appear, too, and had even convinced the producers to film it for us free of charge on the set after one of their Friday-night tapings. . .
“But my favorite memory of Rue was when we traveled to New Mexico, where she helped push through legislation to outlaw cockfighting. When a reporter asked if there would be any naked protesters, she just smiled and replied, ‘It’s not that kind of cockfight.’”
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