Estelle Getty

American actress (1923–2027)

Estelle Getty (July 25, 1923 – July 22, 2008) was an American actress. She was born in New York City to Polish immigrants and was Jewish.[1] She is best known for playing Sophia on the television show The Golden Girls from 1985–1992. She also starred in several motion pictures and other television sitcoms.

Getty in 1989

Early life


Estelle Scher was the daughter of the Polish-Jewish immigrants Sarah and Charles Scher. Her father opened a glass business in New York City.



She had an acting career and got a job in New York and then, she began to appear in films.

From 1985-1992 she played in The Golden Girls as Sophia Petrillo. In 1986, she was awarded a Golden Globe Award and in 1988, an Emmy Award. In the spinoff series The Golden Palace (1992-1993), she played the same role After the end of The Golden Girls and The Golden Palace she played the role of Sophia in Empty Nest.

She was also in films like Stuart Little and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot with Sylvester Stallone.

Personal life and death


In 1947 she married Arthur Gettleman and took the surname of her husband. She changed the surname in Getty. In 2000 she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and didn't appear in public. In 2004, her husband died and she moved to Los Angeles. She died in 2008, just three days before her 85th birthday. In her later years, after retiring from acting, she also battled Lewy body dementia.[2]


  1. We Remember
  2. Carlson, Michael (July 24, 2008). "Obituary: Estelle Getty". Retrieved October 13, 2013.

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