American actress Estelle Getty dead at age 84
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Emmy Award winning American actress Estelle Getty has died at the age of 84. Getty had been previously diagnosed with dementia which had been in its advanced stages. She died while at her home in Hollywood, California early Tuesday morning.
"She was loved throughout the world in six continents, and if they loved sitcoms in Antarctica she would have been loved on seven continents. She was one of the most talented comedic actresses who ever lived," said her son Carl Gettleman.
Getty was probably most famous for her starring role as Sophia Petrillo in the American television show The Golden Girls where she co-starred with actresses Bea Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan. It ran from 1985 until 1992 having aired 180 episodes, and was an immediate success. In 1986, Getty was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, winning one, for her role in the show for "Actress In A Supporting Role - Series, Mini-Series Or Television Movie" and "Actress In A Leading Role - Musical Or Comedy Series". Ironically, though she played the oldest of the four roommates, and the mother of Arthur's character, Dorothy Zbornak, she was actually younger than Arthur or White.
"Our mother-daughter relationship was one of the greatest comic duos ever, and I will miss her," stated Arthur in a statement to the press.
"The only comfort at this moment is that although Estelle has moved on, Sophia will always be with us," said White to the Associated Press.
Getty also starred in several movies after the show including Mask where she played the mother of singer and song writer Cher and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot where she also played the mother of actor Sylvester Stallone. She also starred in the television show spin off of The Golden Girls titled The Golden Palace and made a two episode appearance on another spin off called Empty Nest.
Getty was born in New York City on July 25, 1923, passing away just three days before her 85th birthday.