Estelle Getty of 'Golden Girls' Dies at 84The Associated PressEstelle Getty, the diminutive actress who spent 40 years struggling for success before landing a role of a lifetime in 1985 as the sarcastic Sophia on "The Golden Girls," has died. She was 84. She would have been 85 on Friday.Her son says she died early Tuesday at home in Los Angeles. He says she suffered from advanced dementia.Getty spent 40 years struggling for success before landing the role of a lifetime in 1985, playing the sarcastic Sophia on "The Golden Girls." The role won her two Emmys.
Born Estelle Scher to Polish immigrants in New York, Getty fell in love with theater when she saw a vaudeville show at age 4.
Getty had gained a knack for one-liners in her late teens when she did standup comedy at a Catskills hotel. Female comedians were rare in those days, however, and she bombed. Undeterred, she continued to pursue a career in entertainment, and while her parents were encouraging, her father also insisted that she learn office skills so she would have something to fall back on
She started her career acting for the Yiddish theater, beofre appearing in small parts in a handful of films and TV movies, including Tootsie, Deadly Force and Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story.
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