David Sunshine Author Morrow Wilson: “Writing Without Rue, Not the Same”

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As the third anniversary of her death approaches, “Golden Girl” widower, Morrow Wilson, was reflecting on his writing days during the 12 years he was married to Rue McClanahan, the actress who had become world-renown for playing man-hungry Blanche on the classic television comedy series.

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Once Rue learned I was a writer she would read my manuscripts – often without telling me.

A novelist from the start, Wilson achieved early success, first as a TV, broadcasting and advertising executive, and then took the plunge and became a New York actor and singer. But he always kept writing.

“Book editors always claimed great enthusiasm for my fiction, but they also found ways to say no anyhow, as though the quality of the novels was ‘our little secret.’ I had rejection slips that read like the blurbs on the covers of the most highly touted books.

“When Rue and I began our whirlwind courtship – we met, fell in love and married – all in less than a year, I had long since become a successful New York actor, singer and voice-over announcer with over a hundred NYC stage roles, many commercials, and lots of daytime and primetime TV roles to my credit. Nothing like Rue’s world-wide fame and fortune, of course, but I always found myself proud, rather than jealous of her career and celebrity. What a great comedienne she was!

“Once Rue learned I was a writer she would read my manuscripts – often without telling me – and then, again often without telling me, praise them to others. She was an excellent critic, as you might expect from an actress who chose her scripts extremely well and she liked the idea of being married to a writer.

“At one point a literary agent told me she had read an interview in which Rue had said her current favorite reading matter was a novel that I had not even finished writing!

“That kind of support means a lot.”

Morrow Wilson confesses he cannot be sure if Rue ever read his successful new novel, David Sunshine, the story of a brave young man who takes on the television industry of the 1960s. But Morrow Wilson made a point of dedicating that book: “In loving memory of my beautiful wife, Rue McClanahan, who had her share of television success.”

Along with his on-going acting, singing and commercial work, as always Morrow Wilson still perseveres in his writing. But shakes his head sadly. “It’s a tough thing to be without your muse.”


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