Who didn't love "The Golden Girls "? Betty White was originally cast as Blanche on the show. Estelle Getty had a phobia of death. Everyone thinks Blanche from the Golden Girls died this week, but she's earlier this week as fans learned that the actress had passed away. Actress Rue McClanahan died early this morning of a massive stroke. retiree Blanche Devereaux she played on '80 sitcom The Golden Girls.