Estelle Getty: 1923-2008
Estelle Getty, the actress behind the role of Sophia on The Golden Girls, died early Tuesday morning, three days shy of her 85th birthday. Getty had been suffering from dementia. According to her son Carl Gettleman, she died in her Hollywood home.
On the show from 1985 to 1992, Getty played Sophia Petrillo, an 80-something retiree sharing a Miami home with three other older ladies, played by Rue McClanahan, Bea Arthur and Betty White.
“Estelle always wanted to be an actress, and she achieved that goal beyond her dreams,” McClanahan told the Associated Press. “Don't feel sad about her passing. She will always be with us in her crowning achievement, Sophia.”
Best known for her Golden Girls role, the diminutive actress (she was under five feet tall) also appeared in Tootsie, Copacabana, and as Sylvester Stallone’s mother in Stop or My Mom Will Shoot.
Getty was born Estelle Scher on July 25, 1923. Her stage name was derived from her 1947 marriage to Arthur Gettleman, with whom she had two sons. She is survived by her sons, Carl and Barry Gettleman, her brother, David Scher, and her sister, Rosilyn Howard.
Estelle Getty on IMDb
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