July 25, 1923 - July 22, 2008
Estelle Getty is a multi-awarded American actress born on July 25, 1923 in New York City. Her extensive career in the entertainment industry began in Yiddish theater, and she first worked as a comedienne in the Catskills borscht belt resorts. She earned acclaim for her stage roles, such as that in the original Broadway run in Torch Song Trilogy.
In 1978, Estelle Getty made her debut in Team-Mates. Her next projects were roles in two critically praised classics, 1982’s Tootsie and 1985’s Mask. She soon joined the cast of the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls, rising to fame as the wise-cracking Sophia Petrillo. In 1988, she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series because of her performance. She was nominated for numerous accolades, and also won a Golden Globe Award in the catgeorey Actress in a Leading Role – Musical or Comedy Series in 1986. She reprised the role in the show’s spin-off series, The Golden Palace, in Empty Nest in 1988 and in Nurses in 1993.
Getty’s other credits include TV productions like No Man’s Land, Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story, Copacabana, A Match Made in Heaven, and voicing a character in The Sissy Duckling. She has appeared in small-screen shows like Hotel, Newhart, Blossom, City, Touched by an Angel, Brotherly Love and Mad About You. Getty has also been cast in a number of films. She was known as Grandma Estelle Little in the 1999 family film, Stuart Little, and as Sister Rosanne in 2000’s The Million Dollar Kid.
Her career came to an end in July 22, 2008. By the mid-2000s, it was revealed that she herself suffers from Lewy Body Dementia, and has subsequently been watched over by her longtime friend Paul Chapdelaine and a full-time nursing staff. She died in her home in Hollywood Boulevard due to natural causes. In honor of the actress, Lifetime TV aired ten episodes of The Golden Girls on July 25, featuring the best of Sophia, Getty’s best-known character.
(Image courtesy of TV.Yahoo.com)
-Estelle supported many causes including; AIDS charities, gay rights, and alternative living for the aging.
-In the 1940's Estelle worked as a stand-up comic in the Catskills, but soon gave up the idea when audiences failed to enjoy her routines.
-After The Golden Girls became a hit, Estelle bought the first house she ever owned in her life.
1988 – Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – The Golden Girls – (Won).
Golden Globe Awards
1986 – Actress in a Leading Role – Musical or Comedy Series – The Golden Girls – (Won)
* Tootsie (1982)
* Mask (1985)
* Mannequin (1987)
* Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)
* Stuart Little (1999)
* Copacabana (1985)
* The Golden Girls (173 episodes, 1985–1992)
* Empty Nest (2 episodes, 1988–1991; regular, 1993-1995)
* The Golden Palace (24 episodes, 1992–1993)
-If love means never having to say you're sorry, then marriage means always having to say everything twice.
-I've played mothers to heroes and mothers to zeros. I've played Irish mothers, Jewish mothers, Italian mothers, Southern mothers, mothers in plays by Neil Simon and Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. I've played mother to everyone but Attila the Hun.
-I think they look upon me as an old child, because I'm so little, but they love the fact that I talk back to Dorothy.
Picture it Sicily.....