'Golden Girls' Estelle Getty Passes Away at age 84
Getty was long a supporter of gay rights and had a successful (though lesser-known) series of roles on broadway.
While she played the oldest of the four Golden Girls, Getty was actually younger than two of her co-stars.
Beloved actress Estelle Getty, who created the iconic role of Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls, died today, just three days shy of her 85th birthday.
Aside from bringing to life the feisty, uncompromising, giant-purse-toting Sicilian mother that we all came to love during the show's seven-year run (not to mention one year on the ill-conceived spinoff, Golden Palace, and guest spots on Nurses, Empty Nest, and Blossom, of all shows!), Getty originated the role of Harvey Fierstein's mother in Torch Song Trilogy on Broadway and was throughout her life a tireless supporter of gay rights. She also appeared in Mannequin! and Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot.
I'm so sad. Golden Girl, Estelle Getty, passed away this morning. She was 84-years-old and just three days shy of being 85. She had been suffering with Lewy Body Dementia (a progressive brain disease similar to Alzheimer's disease). We'll miss you Ma. R.I.P.
Estelle Getty, who played Bea Arthur's mother (even though Arthur was a year older in real life) on the NBC hit comedy Golden Girls (which also starred Betty White and Rue McClanahan), passed away this morning in Los Angeles. Getty was 84 years old and had been suffering from a disease known as Lewy Body Dementia for a number of years.