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My First Five Husbands..And the Ones Who Got Away

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,789 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
“This book is about men I have known, in both the Platonic and Biblical senses. Some I knew only slightly, some quite well. Some I’ll love always, some I no longer like very much, and there are a few I’d like to strip naked, tie to a Maypole, smear with sweet syrup near a beehive, then stand back and watch. I’ll describe a goodly number of these hot dudes—and duds—keeping ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 528 pages
Published April 10th 2007 by Random House Large Print (first published 2007)
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Jul 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Golden Girls is one of my favorite shows so I borrowed this from a friend. I read it in a weekend.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is

Eating habits are hard to change, but it can be done, and with some added exercise, you can change your weight, which matters a lot more than your age. Regular sexual activity is excellent exercise. So is lifting weights. It all depends on what's available. Dumbbells are pretty easy to come by, but since many of them are married, I suggest lifting weigh
Burgundy Rose
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to thank everyone who helped make this award possible. The rest of you will be in the book.
Rue McClanahan's Emmy Award Acceptance Speech, 1987

Let me preface this by saying that it's deeply satisfying to wake up to a Mooch alert - an email telling you in so many words that a book on your wishlist is now waiting for a new home. I really enjoy Bookmooch and I wish more of the books I wanted were given up by other people. I really urge you to give it a try - I got rid of titles I no longer
Maria Zukin
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I felt as though Blanche Deveraux herself was sitting on a wicker sofa, detailing every sordid moment of her life to me, as she sipped a mint julep and buffed her nails. She's extremely funny and a wonderful story-teller, allowing over 70 years to pour out in scintillating, well-timed prose. Definitely a modern thinker and irrepressibly optimistic, McClanahan makes even life's hardest knocks seem colorful and uplifting in a fiddle-dee-dee sort of way. She's awesome.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the title and cover of the book you think this is going to be hilarious, funny with a lot of good dish-y details to keep you rolling on the floor. What you experience while reading is that and a whole lot of unexpected information about this multi-talented, beautiful woman. Some might enjoy the racy details of her intimate life, but I enjoyed reading about her life and growth as a woman. She had a strong spirit and will to survive.
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun read from a very funny lady! Her life was like a crazy soap opera, but I really admire how she laughed about it and owned up to her mistakes. She also didn't let any bumps in the road derail her from her dreams and goals. Her work ethic and perseverance were inspiring! My only complaint is that the ending felt very abrupt.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Honestly. I just want to read something I can enjoy. Something I understand. Something about someone honest and forthcoming and funny and true.
Something comfortable and lovely without being saccharine or trite.
This book made me happy and I was sad when I finished it and couldn't read it anymore.
If a woman can handle 5 marriages (several to near-sociopaths), a Tijuana abortion, breast cancer, and Bea Arthur and still manage to be funny and endearing and fascinating, well, then, hell, the rest of
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, nonfiction, humour
The book started out kind of rocky. I found the first few chapters so pell-mell and scattered that I almost gave up, but I'm glad I stuck it out. Once she got around to husband #1, the book started having a logical flow and was more enjoyable to follow. Her effervescent, boistrous personality really leaps off the page. She made a lot of silly choices (mostly when it came to men), but her willingness to admit she'd made a mistake and pick up and move on is admirable. She doesn't come off as sland ...more
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rue McClanahan provides cheap thrills to fans looking for sexual stories in this raunchy memoir that is mostly about the many men she bedded and wedded.

Not only did she dump her first fiancé and then marry a first husband but she married a second husband before her first divorce was final. During the same time period she slept with her second husband's best friend and moved with the buddy to California, where she soon sleeps with a different guy. Yes, that's four guys in one month. Oh, and did I
Aug 11, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of The Golden Girls
As a big fan of the Golden Girls, I was interested in getting to know more about Rue McClanahan and how much she was like Blanche. It took me a while to finish this book because in a lot of ways it was sad. Rue is a really bad decision maker when it comes to men and relationships and I stopped reading the book about 1/3 through because I didn't want to know what stupid thing she was going to do to ruin her life next. I did finally decide I wanted to know how it ended so I finished it. She does g ...more
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I laughed. I thought. And then I laughed again.

Rue may not be EXACTLY the beloved Blanche Devereux but she absolutely has her own story to tell. It was great to read about her pre GG days and how her career expanded over 6 decades. Good entertainment bio! I think I'll add Betty White's bio to my list as well...
May 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, hollywood, memoir
We all know her as Blanche Devereaux from “The Golden Girls”: the sex pot which a love for cheesecake and men. However, how well do we really know the actress Rue McClanahan? More importantly to the gossip lovers; how well do we really know about her sex/love life? Rue McClanahan opens up in “My First Five Husbands”.

God rest her soul, but unfortunately Rue McClanahan fails to initially capture the reader in early chapters of “My First Five Husbands”. Although providing a firm foundation regardi
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest and say it took me awhile to get into this book. No offense Ms. McClanahan! May you rest in peace and sharing cheesecake with Bea and Estelle on that great big lanai in the sky. But once I got into the juicy parts of her life, I couldn't put this down! I am such a big fan of the Golden Girls that after reading both Betty White's autobiographies that I knew I needed to read Rue McClanahan's. I'm also going to track down Estelle Getty's and did Bea Arthur write one? Anyway, I d ...more
Apr 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of The Golden Girls since I was child. I own every season on DVD and watch it whenever it's on TV. People wonder why someone as young I am loves a show about four older women living together in Miami. My answer, it's a good show, pure and simple. When I found out that Rue McClanahan, Blanche Devareaux on the show, wrote an autobiography, it piqued my interest....especially the title. I was pleasantly surprised. I had no idea that what colorful life Rue had prior to her success ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The youngest Golden Girls star offers a chatty, thoughtful and effervescent tour of her surprisingly turbulent professional and private life.

Like her TV alter ego Blanche Devereaux, McClanahan charts her experiences through the men in her life (and isn't shy about assigning ratings to the life in her men—she gives enthusiastic "A"s to Benson's Robert Guillaume and Brad Davis, who at the time was nine years older than her son). Days after giving birth, she was abandoned by her first husband and
Mar 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly dark memoir. McClanahan has a very contemporary and upbeat voice which makes for wonderful storytelling; though, she does have a tendency toward the occasionally mundane or empty details or her private life, especially later in life--there's only so much to be said about gardening during your retirement. But she makes up for these brief moments of boredom when telling the outrageous and sometimes atrocious details of her private life, which often make for a far more tantalizing read ...more
May 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who breathes!
Rue McClanahan's life story is wonderful! I picked this book up over shear curiousity. I am an avid Golden Girls fan, and I am also familiar with some of Rue's other television work...Maude and Mama's Family. She has also appeared recently on Broadway as the horrible Madame Morrible in Wicked. I never knew that her past was sorrid and full of bi-coastal adventures. I loved her personal insights; her wisdom for the ages on love, loss, happiness, and work ethic. The girl has it goin' on! Reading w ...more
Rita Meade
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
I've always half-jokingly called the character "Blanche Devereaux" a personal hero of mine. After reading this memoir, I've discovered that there's some actual merit to the claim that goes beyond my love of "The Golden Girls." Ms. McClanahan presents the story of her life in a hilarious, self-deprecating, and charmingly loquacious fashion. A veteran in the war of love and one of the most hard-working ladies on stage and television, she gives, through her stories, practical yet inspirational pers ...more
This line right here:

"People always ask me if I'm like Blanche. And I say, 'Well, Blanche was an oversexed, self-involved, man-crazy, vain Southern Belle from Atlanta -- and I'm not from Atlanta!’” -- Rue McClanahan

That was all it took for me to read this since I'm a huge, I mean HUGE Golden Girls fan. I had always thought she played that role with a little too much familiarity! ;)

This book was a fun autobiography to read. I thought I would be so excited to get to her Golden Girls years that I w
Chasia Lloyd
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Refreshing and hilarious memoir. Focusing primarily on her relationships with men, Rue boldly does only what a person with age and experience can do - admit her mistakes and embrace them. Even with the worst-sounding of people, she is able to point out their good qualities.

The book is also in some ways a long letter to her son, trying to detail what was going through her mind during some rough times for the both of them. There are a lot of apologies disguised as loving words. Clearly her son was
Justin Seals
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not gonna lie, I'm a gay man who loves the Golden Girls. So I picked up this book a few years ago and kept putting off reading it. Boy am I sorry I waited so long. This is one of the best autobiographies I've read, and I've read quite a few. Rue goes through her entire life putting a large emphasis on the earlier part of her life. I went into this book hoping to get some of the dirt from the set of the Golden Girls, but she refuses to go there and instead we are treated with little stories a ...more
David Olsen
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition! What a fabulous woman Ms. McClanahan is! I could read her book over and over and OVER! So completely entertaining and full of adventure, struggle and persistence, not just in her delicious career, but also in her many troubled relationships! What a tasty read and a winning lesson about life! Gays and showbiz folk will like it best!
Jun 10, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I checked this book out of the library a few weeks after Ms. McClanahan's passing. Is a bad book review speaking ill of the dead?? Hope not! She came off as very selfish. The real heroes of the story were her mother and other family members who cared for her son while she pursued her career.
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as she probably wouldn't appreciate it, Rue McClanahan is/was quite quite Blanche... With a bit of the hopefully optimistic, adorably naive Rose thrown in. Oh, bless. I had no idea she had such a life!
Sam Baber
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A ribald and witty romp.
Rating: 3.5/5.0

This memoir made an interesting reading. I love Rue McClanhan since she did The Golden Girls and this book was fun to read knowing her more upclose. Her relationships, love interests, her work and her thoughts and opinion about her colleagues. It was interesting to read the portion she wrote about The Golden Girls and their fun times and struggle on the sets.

If you loved Blanche Deveraux then you should read this book to understand where she came from. It won't disappoint you.
Alina Popkova
Let's separate Rue the writer and Rue the person we want to judge after we read about her life. By the way, for some reason I was under the impression she was the opposite of Blanche in real life. Strange to find she... was actually exactly like Blanche. The book is called 'my first five husbands'. I don't understand why people thought she'd be dishing dirt on The Golden Girls. The book is about her selective memory - how she chose to remember her life. Some parts are weirdly detailed and some a ...more
Jen A.
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
3.5-4 stars -- a much more "story-like" memoir than the last two I read (Tiny Fey & Betty White), and I have to say I enjoyed this format more than the others. McClanahan relates her life story from growing up in rural Oklahoma, to trying to break into the stage & film business, to her success as a Golden Girl, tying together the chapters of her story with a "men of my life" ribbon. She's refreshingly candid but you can't forget while you read that you're only hearing one half of the sto ...more
I'm a big Golden Girls fan. I only recently watched the show for the first time about 2 years ago but I've been hooked ever since and I love those girls (although Sophia is my favorite...probably because we're so similar). So I was very curious to see how Rue McClanahan was the same or different from her character on the show. Surprisingly (or not, depends on how you see Rue McClanahan), she was very similar to Blanche! This was a super fun memoir and read almost like a soap opera at times. I ap ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rue McClanahan's book "My First Five Husbands ... And the Ones
Who Got Away" is a witty and open-hearted memoir of a woman pursuing her dream to become an actress experiencing the ups and downs of life along the way.
She lets us follow her from her birth in Oklahoma, through her struggles to get work as an actress and to put food on the table, through happy and not so happy to downright disastrous relationships, through her success as a golden girl, through her suffering of breast cancer to her
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hm, what DID i learn from this book?

well, first thing i can tell you is if you're looking for the dirt on the Golden Girls, you gotta look elsewhere.

then i can tell you that she's not exaggerating. she's been married 2049029042 times (i had to go back and forth to check names because i was getting them all confused) and has even more little loves here and there. i think she sounds like a sweet person, but she goes out of her way to make herself look good. i was going to count the number of times
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Rue McClanahan (born Eddi Rue McClanahan) was an Emmy Award-winning American actress, known for her roles on the television sitcoms Maude and The Golden Girls.
More about Rue McClanahan...

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“Dumbbells are pretty easy to come by, but since many of them are married, I suggest lifting weights. Youth” 1 likes
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