Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Estelle Getty of "The Golden Girls"

The Flaming Nose is very sad to learn of the death this morning of the talented and beloved actress Estelle Getty. In addition to her hilarious work in TV's The Golden Girls, a Flaming Nose Favorite, Estelle was an accomplished veteran of theater and motion pictures with memorable performances in films like Mask, Tootsie, and Torch Song Trilogy (a role she had originated onstage). The diminutive -- 4'10"-- actress had been ailing for several years with Lewy Body Disease, a type of dementia, and though she'd been out of the spotlight she was never out of the thoughts of her devoted fans everywhere.

Estelle won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in 1988 for her role as Sophia Petrillo in The Golden Girls, and had been nominated six other times. In addition to her successful acting career, Estelle was known for her extensive work throughout the years with AIDS organizations. She had an interesting acting path; I hadn't realized that she got her start in Yiddish theater, but had retired to raise a family and later resumed her career in the early 1980s. Everybody probably knows that she was actually several months younger than Bea Arthur, who played her daughter on the show, and in fact Estelle would have turned 85 this Friday. Visit her official website for complete career information and to pay tribute to this wonderful performer who brought so much laughter to us. Her tremendous body of work is a wonderful legacy, and here's a little clip of one of Sophia's terrific stories, as only Estelle Getty could bring it to life:

1 comment:

Judith said...

The Golden Girls still reigns supreme as one of television's finest comedies. Ms. Getty was a gifted actress. May her soul rest in peace.