Estelle Getty

Estelle Getty

TV Actress

Estelle Gettleman, known professionally as Estelle Getty, was an American actress and comedian best known for her portrayal of Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls, for which she won a Golden Globe Award ...

Full Name
Estelle Gettleman
Jul 25, 1923
Jul 22, 2008
4′ 11″
Net Worth


Estelle Getty was born Estelle Scher on July 25, 1923 in New York City to Sarah and Charles Scher. She was raised in Brooklyn with her three sisters. Estelle got her first taste of the performing arts at an early age when she began taking tap dancing lessons. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where she studied music and drama. After high school, Estelle went on to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. 

Estelle's professional career began in the 1950s when she started appearing in off-Broadway plays. In the 1960s, she made her Broadway debut in the musical "The Golden Apple" which earned her a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She then went on to appear in numerous films and television shows such as “Tootsie”, “Stuart Little 2”, and “The Golden Girls”. She won an Emmy Award for her role as Sophia Petrillo on “The Golden Girls” which ran from 1985 to 1992. 

Estelle was also active in charity work and served as a national spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Association from 1992 until 2002 when she was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a form of Alzheimer's disease, herself. Estelle passed away at age 84 on July 22, 2008 in Los Angeles due to complications from the disease.

Life Timeline

<div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1923</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Estelle Getty is Born</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Estelle Getty was born Estelle Scher on July 25, 1923 in New York City.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1945</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Marries Arthur Gettleman</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Estelle marries Arthur Gettleman, a furniture manufacturer and together they have two sons.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1960s</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Begins Stand-up Comedy Career</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Gets her start in stand-up comedy at various clubs in New York City.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1984</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Makes Television Debut</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Makes her television debut on the sitcom, "Foley Square."</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1985</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Joins the Cast of "The Golden Girls"</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Joins the cast of the hit show "The Golden Girls" as the character Sophia Petrillo.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2008</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Receives Lifetime Achievement Award</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the TV Land Awards for her role in "The Golden Girls."</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2009</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Passes Away at 85 Years Old</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Estelle passes away on July 22, 2009 at the age of 85 due to natural causes.</p></div>

Why We Love Them

<div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">A.</span> She's an Inspiration</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Estelle Getty was an inspiration to many. She was a trailblazer in the entertainment industry as she became one of the few prominent television actresses during her time. Her determination, passion and talent were evident in all her roles, inspiring other young women to follow their dreams and pursue their ambitions.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">B.</span> She Was a Great Comedian</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Estelle Getty was a great comedian with impeccable timing and delivery. Her portrayal of Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls was hilarious and memorable. Her deadpan delivery and acerbic wit made her character one of the most beloved characters on the show.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">C.</span> She Was a Loving Grandmother</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Estelle Getty was a loving grandmother. During her time as Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls, she showed us what it means to be a supportive and caring grandmother. Her love for her family was evident in all her performances, providing us with an example of what it means to be a loving grandparent.</p></div>

Interesting Facts

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">1.</span> Estelle Getty was the oldest cast member of The Golden Girls </h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Estelle Getty was the oldest cast member of The Golden Girls, at the age of 74 when the show began. She was also the only cast member to have won an Emmy for her performance on the show.</p></div>

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">2.</span> Estelle Getty was born in New York City</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Estelle Getty was born in New York City in 1923. She moved to Miami, Florida in 1974 and later moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to pursue her acting career.</p></div>

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">3.</span> Estelle Getty had a long film career</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Estelle Getty had a long film career that spanned over 50 years. She appeared in over 70 films and television shows including Tootsie, Mask, and Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol.</p></div>

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">4.</span> Estelle Getty was married twice</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Estelle Getty was married twice, first to Arthur Gettleman from 1945 to 1952 and then to Sidney Michalik from 1955 until his death in 2004.</p></div>

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">5.</span> Estelle Getty was a Tony Award Winner</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">In 1985, Estelle Getty won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her role as "Mama" Rose in Torch Song Trilogy.</p></div>


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