Ronald Asadorian / Splash News 1 / 5
Ronald Asadorian / Splash News 1 / 5

The late Rue McClanahan's "Sordid Lives" co-star Olivia Newton-John is opening up about the death of the veteran actress, calling her "fearless and brave."

"Rue was a very special woman with incredible spirit and spunk," Newton-John tells ET. "She was a consummate professional -- fearless and brave and very giving to her fellow actors. Before we began filming 'Sordid Lives' I was a bit intimidated to work with her, but she really embraced me and taught me a lot -- showing me trust and confidence. A woman full of life, love and energy, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be one of the last to work with her. I am sad that we won't share each other's company again. My thoughts are with her family."

McClanahan passed away Thursday in New York. She was 76.

Related stories: In Pics: Remembering 'Golden Girl' Rue McClanahan  In Pics: Celebrating the 'Golden Girls' Through the Years