Estelle Getty

Originally printed on July 23, 2008 in the Family Announcements.
Viewed by 1106 Visitors.

Estelle Getty, who died on 22 July, 2008, was an American actress who won Golden Globe and Emmy awards for her role in the long-running sitcom The Golden Girls.She played the feisty octogenarian matriarch Sophia Petrillo, mother of Dorothy, one of three older women who shared a Miami apartment. The quartet of divorcees and widows were the stars of one of America's best-loved and most celebrated comedies - each of its principle actors won at least one Emmy during its seven-year run.Petite and bespectacled, Sophia was known for her sharp put-downs and stubbornness. She was originally only supposed to be a secondary character, but early appearances proved so popular that the writers burnt down her retirement home, forcing her to move in with the eponymous girls.She was born Estelle Scher in New York City on 25 July, 1923 to Polish immigrants. She began her career on the Jewish niche theatre circuit but later graduated to Broadway. She made her movie debut in Team-Mates (1978) at the age of 55 and had supporting roles in films like Tootsie (1982) and Mask (1985).She was cast as Sophia in 1985 despite actually being one year younger than Golden Girls principle star Beatrice Arthur who played Dorothy. By the time it ended in 1992, the show had been named 'Best Comedy' twice by both the Emmys and Golden Globes. Beatrice Arthur left the series after the seventh run, but the rest of the cast returned for the spin-off The Golden Palace (1992-93), set in a hotel.Her success in The Golden Girls led to more film work, including a starring role alongside Sylvester Stallone in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992) and the grandmother in Stuart Little (1999).She retired due to illness (later diagnosed as Lewy body dementia) in 2000, preventing her from appearing at Golden Girls reunions. She died at her home in LA a few days before her 85th birthday. Her husband Arthur Gettleman (from whom she adapted her stage name) died in 2004. She was survived by their two sons, Carl and Barry.Golden Girls co-star Betty White said: “The only comfort at this moment is that although Estelle has moved on, Sophia will always be with us.”

Tributes (10)

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Whatever else we fail...

janet neff

28 April 2009

Whatever else we fail to do,
We never fail to think of you. estelle was such a great actress and will always miss her

I am agreat fan...

simon fabrizio

02 August 2008

I am agreat fan of the golden girls and still watch them on dvd all the time. I am so sad to hear of estelle getty passing, i loved her along with the rest of the ladies,they gave me so many laughs and lifted me up when i was feeling down

You may be gone...

Irene Bowden-Meal

28 July 2008

You may be gone from this world but as long as they show Golden Girls you will always be around. You are sadly missed.
Ps Enjoy your new life
Peace & Love Irene

A truly remarkable lady,...

Helen Russ

27 July 2008

A truly remarkable lady, Estelle your laughter and wit and humour will go on forever. I send my thoughts to the whole family's, cast of the golden girls, and the crew of the programme. what a team they make. It has saddened me immensely, to think this gem of a lady will no longer be with us all. I like millions of other fans have the DVD's and watch all the time and the reruns at weekends. I can't get enough of the programmes. Estelle is at peace now, but the rest of us still feel the pain of losing her. To everyone on the programme Thank you for being our friends on the Brittish television set. Keep on running please. We need your humour. Thank you all.

I've been a fan...

Curtis Rhyner

26 July 2008

I've been a fan of The Golden Girls for 11 years, thanks to my grandma and my favorite character has always been and will always be Sophia. Estelle Getty was an extremely talented actress and will never be forgotten. It saddens me to know that this woman is gone, but she will always live on as Sophia in we who still watch The Golden Girls.

I have always been...

Liz Fowkes

25 July 2008

I have always been a huge fan of the Golden Girls and I must say it has rubbed off on my daughter who is 22. Estelle was absolutely brilliant as Sophia, truly hilarious, and played the role to perfection. Everything about her performance is mesmerising you just cannot take your eyes off the screen. You just know that when she utters the words "Picture this" your in for a treat. Estelle Getty we will always be picturing you on the screen and you will go on making people laugh for a very long time. My heart goes ot to all of Estelle's family and friends at such a very sad time. R.I.P. A very funny funny lady.

I have and always...

kimberly barnett

25 July 2008

I have and always will watch the Golden Girls. It is my favorite show and having Estelle there along with the rest of the ladies was one of the best times on network television. I will truly miss such a funny little lady...

Estelle "Sophia Petrillo" Getty...

Linda Williams

24 July 2008

Estelle "Sophia Petrillo" Getty was just the best. I am so sad to hear of her passing. The only consolation is that she will suffer no longer. I truly love the Golden Girls and Estelle made it so much better. I watch the re-runs and laugh as much as ever. Heaven has yet another angel. Estelle/Sophia will truly be missed here on earth. Fortunately we have the re-runs of her movies and the award-winning Golden Girls to keep us going.

What a wonderful beautiful...

Patty Sheene

24 July 2008

What a wonderful beautiful woman. I still to this day watch the Golden Girls and I love it today as much as I did the first time I ever saw Ms.Getty and the other wonderful ladies of the show. Ms.Arthur was right when she said her and Ms.Getty were one of the best mother and daughter acts in show business. To me they were the best. Ms. Getty reminds me so much of my late grandmother, you never knew what coming out of her mouth. May heaven enjoy their newest little angel and I hope she always knew just how much she was loved. Boy is Heaven in for a treat.


No smaller lady ever...

Roger Corell

24 July 2008

No smaller lady ever made me laugh bigger. I stay up late every night to watch her on "Lifetime". God Bless this wonderful funny lady's memory.

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