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Estelle Getty Is Fondly Remembered as Wisecracking Mom on 'Golden Girls' - Here's a Look at Her Final Years

Rebelander Basilan
Nov 24, 2019
11:30 A.M.
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Estelle Getty endeared viewers with her portrayal of a charming octogenarian on the television sitcom "The Golden Girls."


The comedian, who suffered from a progressive brain disease, passed away on July 22, 2008, at the age of 84, as reported by The New York Times.

She died at her home in Hollywood just three days before her birthday.

Born Estella Scher in Manhattan on July 25, 1923, to Polish immigrants, Getty's interest in acting began as a child.

Estelle Getty in 1989. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons



She became a stand-up comedian as a young woman and went on to perform in community theaters, small theaters way off Broadway, and regional houses.

Her star shone brightest when she played the role of Sophia Petrillo on the hit television series, "Golden Girls."

Playing this role – a wisecracking mother of Bea Arthur's character – earned her an Emmy award, as reported by LA Times.

In Memorium screenshot for actress Estelle Getty during the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images


Sophia is an elderly mother who was forced to live with her divorced, middle-aged daughter and her daughter's two friends in a house in Miami.

On Broadway, she was known for her performance as Harvey Fierstein's mother in "Torch Song Trilogy."

Before being cast in this movie, she was already a veteran stage actress in New York City.

Betty White at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 12, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo: Getty Images


Betty White, one of Getty's "Golden Girls" costars, paid tribute to Getty, saying in a statement:

"The only comfort at this moment is that although Estelle has moved on, Sophia will always be with us."

The hit television sitcom starred Estelle Getty, Bea Arthur, Betty White, and Rue McClanahan as four women sharing a Miami home.

All four actresses received an Emmy for their stellar performance, as reported by ABC News.



Another iconic actress worth remembering is Vivian Vance, who made her final TV appearance on the CBS special "Lucy Calls the President," which aired in 1977.

That same year, she endured a stroke that left her partially paralyzed.

On August 17, 1979, the legendary actress died of bone cancer at age 70.

Vivian Vance, circa 1940s | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

After her passing, her loved ones donated her Emmy Award to the Albuquerque Little Theatre.

Vance was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1991 for her spectacular performance in the field of television.