Estelle Getty was an actress and comedian from the United States, best remembered for her role as Sophia Petrillo in the sitcom “The Golden Girls.” She was up in New York and always wanted to be an actress. She worked as a waiter in borscht bell resorts in the Catskills and as a theatre artist in Yiddish theater. Getty tried stand-up comedy as well but did not receive the required crowd response or participation. She appeared in episodes of ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘Cagney & Lacey,’ ‘Blossom,’ ‘Touched by an Angel,’ ‘Mad About You,’ and ‘The Nanny,’ among others. In her debut film, ‘Team-Mates,’ she portrayed a teacher. ‘Tootsie,’ ‘Mask,’ and ‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ are just a few of her commercially successful flicks. She was nominated for seven Emmy Awards for her role in ‘The Golden Girls,’ and she won one of them. Arthur Gettleman was her husband, and they had two boys together. ‘If I Knew Then, What I Know Now… So What?’ was her autobiography, which included disclosures and information about her life. She died of Dementia with Lewy Body three days before her eighty-fifth birthday.
Childhood and Adolescence
Estelle Getty was born in New York City on July 25, 1923. Sarah Scher’s mother was a Polish-Jewish immigrant, as was her father, Charles Scher. Charles worked in the glass industry.
Roslyn was her sister, and David was her brother. She went to New York City’s Seward Park High School.
Estelle had wanted to be an actor since she was a youngster, and she started her career in Yiddish theater.
She worked as a server and a comic at borscht bell motels in the Catskills. Her most well-known theatrical performance was that of Harvey Fierstein’s mother in the ‘Torch Song Trilogy.’
Career of Estelle
Estelle Getty was a long-time performer in Yiddish theaters and starred in the 1978 film ‘Team-mates’ as a teacher. She first appeared on television in the 1980s.
In 1982, she starred as Mrs. Beckoff in the ‘Torch Song Trilogy,’ a collection of three plays. ‘Nurse’ (1981), ‘Baker’s Dozen’ (1982), ‘Fantasy Island’ (1984), ‘Cagney & Lacey’ (1984), ‘Hotel’ (1984), and ‘Newhart’ (1984) were among the television shows in which she had guest appearances (1985).
She also starred in a number of films and television shows during this time, including ‘Tootsie’ in 1982, ‘Deadly Force’ in 1983, ‘No Man’s Land’ in 1984, and ‘Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story’ in 1985. (1984).
Sophia Petrillo in the comedy ‘The Golden Girls’ gave her the most popular role of her career in 1985. The show lasted seven years, from 1990 to 1992.
She also participated in the 1985 television picture ‘Copacabana,’ as well as the 1987 and 1992 features ‘Mannequin’ and ‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.’
She went on to play Sophia Petrillo in the television shows ‘The Golden Palace’ in 1992-93 and ‘Empty Nest’ in 1993-95. In 1996-97, she made cameo appearances on ‘Touched by An Angel,’ ‘Brotherly Love,’ ‘Mad About You,’ and ‘Duckman.’ In 1997, she also starred in the television film ‘A Match Made in Heaven.’
In 1998, she played herself in an episode of ‘The Nanny,’ and in 1999, she starred in the television movie ‘The Sassy Duckling’ and the famous film ‘Stuart Little.’ Her last film appearance was in 2000’s ‘The Million Dollar Kid.’
In the year 2000, Estelle Getty appeared in one episode of the show ‘Ladies Man.’ In 2001, Getty starred in the films Intimate Portrait: Estelle Getty’ and ‘It’s Like, You Know…’.
Her Major Works
Estelle Getty began her acting career in Yiddish theater, and her most well-known theatrical performance was in the ‘Torch Stop Trilogy.’ She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1982 and won a Helen Hayes Award in 1985 for her performance.
From 1985 through 1992, she played Sophia Petrillo in the sitcom “The Golden Girls.” It led to seven Emmy nominations and a win, as well as three nominations and a win at the Golden Globe Awards.
Achievements & Awards
For ‘Torch Stop Trilogy,’ Estelle Getty was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in the category of Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play in 1982. In 1985, she received the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Touring Production for the same.
In 1985, 1986, and 1991, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for ‘The Golden Girl’ in the category Actress in a Leading Role – Musical or Comedy Series. She had already received the award in 1985.
From 1986 to 1992, Estelle Getty was nominated for the Emmy Award for ‘The Golden Girl’ in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She received the award in 1988.
Personal History and Legacy
From December 21, 1947, until his death in 2004, Estelle Getty was married to Arthur Gettleman. Car Gettleman and Barry Gettleman, the couple’s two sons, live in California and Florida, respectively.
She had osteoporosis and was thought to have Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors determined that her suspicions were erroneous, and she was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia.
Estelle Getty died in Los Angeles, California, on July 22, 2008, three days before her 85th birthday. Dementia with Lewy bodies was discovered to be the leading cause of death.
Estelle Getty was an LGBT rights and AIDS campaigner. Steven Scher, her 29-year-old nephew, was suffering from the terminal stages of AIDS and needed her help. In the year 1992, her nephew passed away.
She had no recollection of her show or the actors of ‘The Golden Girls’ in her later years due to her physical state. During the series’ production, she had problems memorizing the lines as well.
‘If I Knew Then, What I Know Now… So What?’ was her autobiography, which she co-wrote in 1988.
Estimated Net worth
Estelle Getty was an actress and comedian from the United States with an estimated net worth of $8 million at the time of her death.