Estelle Getty, who won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as Sophia Petrillo, Bea Arthur’s mother, on The Golden Girls, has passed away. She was aged 84 years.
Alan Siegel, Getty’s longtime manager, told PEOPLE on Tuesday, “Estelle Getty died peacefully in her sleep at 5:35 this morning, surrounded by her family in her home in the Hollywood Hills, of natural causes. During Estelle’s final years, her family and close friends would want to thank everyone for their love and support.
The last of the truly goldens…..keep them laughing up there, girls…..💜
Rip Estelle Getty (1923-2008), Bea Arthur (1922-2009), Rue McClanahan (1934-2010) and Betty White (1922-2021). pic.twitter.com/wsKllIRoO4
— Franco (@FrancoandMarco) January 1, 2022
Who is Estelle Getty?
Estelle Getty was an American actress and comedian. Estelle Getty was most recognised for her role in “The Golden Girls” as Sophia Petrillo. She reprised the role in episodes of the comedies “Blossom” and “Nurses,” as well as in the spin-offs “The Golden Palace” and “Empty Nest.” Getty has appeared in a variety of films, such as Tootsie, Deadly Force, Mask, Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot You, and Stuart Little.
She has also appeared on Fantasy Island, Cagney & Lacey, Blossom, Touched by an Angel, Mad About You, and The Nanny. The Golden Girls earned her a Golden Globe Award in 1986 and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1988. Estelle Getty passed away on July 22, 2008, at the age of 84.
Cause of Death
Getty has been diagnosed with Lewy’s Body Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s disease, for several decades. The NBC sitcom on which Sophia co-starred alongside Betty White and Rue McClanahan garnered her seven Emmy nominations and a win in 1988.
Equally noteworthy were her shrewd insults delivered on television. This is a typical Petrillo put-down: “I believe there is a connection between your brain and wallpaper paste.”
When did Estelle Getty suffer from dementia?
Rue McClanahan and Betty White talked about Estelle Getty’s struggle with dementia in 2006.
— 🌴Golden Girls & Golden Palace Podcast! 🌴 (@SoGoodWeNamedlt) September 8, 2022
Early Life of Estelle Getty
Estelle Getty was born Estelle Scher in Manhattan, New York City, on July 25, 1923. Sarah and Charles, Polish-Jewish immigrants who had a glass store on the Lower East Side, were her parents. Rosilyn and Samuel were, respectively, Getty’s two sisters and brothers. This initially sparked Getty’s interest in acting. She completed high school at Seward Park High School.
The Career of Estelle Getty
While pursuing an acting career, Getty worked as a secretary. She debuted as an actress in multiple New York theatre productions. Getty achieved true stardom in 1982 when she was nearly 60 years old and starred in “Torch Song Trilogy” as Mrs Beckoff on Broadway. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her work.
During the four years she starred in “Torch Song Trilogy,” Getty also made television appearances. She appeared on Baker’s Dozen, Fantasy Island, Cagney & Lacey, Hotel, and Newhart, among others. Getty appeared on television in “No Man’s Land” and “Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.”
The Golden Girls
Getty’s most notable and well-known role was on the NBC sitcom “The Golden Girls,” which aired for seven seasons from 1985 to 1992. Alongside Getty, Betty White, Bea Arthur, and Rue McClanahan represented the four older women who lived together in Miami, Florida.
Getty portrayed Sophia Petrillo, the Italian-born mother of Arthur’s character Dorothy. Notably, Getty was one year younger than Arthur and disguised his age with clothing, wigs, and makeup. Getty earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work on “The Golden Girls.”
“Team-Mates” (1978) was the first feature film in which Getty appeared. 1982 marked her comeback to acting with a small part in the Sydney Pollack comedy Tootsie. The following year, she portrayed Gussie in the action film “Deadly Force.” Getty played Cher’s mother in the 1985 biographical drama “Mask” by Peter Bogdanovich, which was her most notable film performance to date.
In the 1987 romantic comedy “Mannequin,” she portrayed the proprietor of a department shop. Getty co-starred with Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, and James Spader, among others.
In 1992, Getty returned to the big screen for the first time in five years, co-starring alongside Sylvester Stallone in the buddy cop action comedy “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.” The film was reviled by critics, and both Getty and Stallone received Razzies for their performances. Getty’s final film performance was as Estelle Little, the grandmother, in the 1999 family comedy “Stuart Little.”
Getty appeared on episodes of “Roomies,” “City,” and “Fanelli Boys” during the run of “The Golden Girls.” Additionally, she reprised her role as Sophia Petrillo in a “Blossom” episode. Getty would reprise the character in two “Golden Girls” spinoffs, “The Golden Palace” and “Empty Nest.”
1993 saw the cancellation of her previous series, which reunited her with Betty White and Rue McClanahan. “Empty Nest” aired for seven seasons and enjoyed greater success. Getty appeared in the final three seasons from 1993 to 1995.
After “Empty Nest” ended, Getty starred in episodes of “Touched by an Angel,” “Brotherly Love,” and “Mad About You.” In addition, she lent her voice to an episode of the adult animated comedy series “Duckman” and appeared in the television film “A Match Made in Heaven.”
Getty’s final television appearance in the 1990s was as a guest star on “The Nanny.” She had her final guest appearance on the sitcom “It’s Like, You Know…” in 2001.
Getty wed Arthur Gettleman at the conclusion of 1947, and the couple produced two children named Carl and Barry. They remained together until Gettleman’s passing in 2004.
The American actress Estelle Getty was born on July 25, 1923. When she passed away, she was 84 years old. Reports indicate that Estelle Getty possessed an estimated net worth of $8 million. She expired on July 22, 2008