Rue McClanahan, the saucy senior in television’s “Golden Girls” and a one-time Deadwood casino partner, has died at age 76.
We never met Rue, and I’m not sure she was ever actually in Deadwood. This was back in the heady days of Deadwood’s foray into legalized gaming that began 20 years ago. She was among the first investors in the nascent gaming industry. She was part of a group that opened and operated Calamity Jane’s on Main Street.
The relationship ended badly, however. In 1991, Rue filed suit against the casino operators. She said he had invested $125,000 in Calamity Jane’s but was denied a share of the profits. I’m not sure how the dispute was resolved.
Another celebrity Deadwood investor was Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca. He was part of a public company involved in the development and operation of the Deadwood Gulch casino and hotel.
Of course actor Kevin Costner, who filmed “Danced With Wolves,” in the Black Hills shortly before Deadwood gaming, created the Midnight Star and Jake’s restaurant on Main Street. He sought to build a big resort on the hill overlooking Deadwood. The site is now home to his Tatanka: Story of the Bison.
And more recently Big Kenny Alphin of Big & Rich country music fame signed on to be a partner in the Deadwood Mountain Grand Resort and Casino, which is under construction.