Estelle Getty (née Scher; also known as Estelle Gettleman; July 25, 1923 – July 22, 2008) was an American actress and comedian, who appeared in film, television, and theatre. She was best known for her role as Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls from 1985 to 1992, which won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe, on The Golden Palace from 1992 to 1993, and on Empty Nest from 1993 to 1995. In her later years, after retiring from acting, she battled Lewy body dementia.
Getty at the 41st Primetime Emmy Awards in 1989
July 25, 1923
New York City, U.S.
|Died||July 22, 2008 (aged 84)|
|Resting place||Hollywood Forever Cemetery|
|Television||The Golden Girls |
The Golden Palace
(m. 1947; died 2004)
Estelle Getty was born Estelle Scher on July 25, 1923 to Sarah and Charles Scher. Her parents were Polish Jewish immigrants who owned a glass store in New York City. She had a sister, Roslyn, and a brother, David. Getty got her start in the Yiddish theater and also as a comedian in the Catskills borscht belt resorts.
Getty is best known for her role as Sophia Petrillo on the popular 1980s sitcom The Golden Girls. Her character was the Sicilian mother of Dorothy Zbornak, played by Beatrice Arthur, although Getty was, in fact, one year younger than Arthur. In 1988, the role earned Getty the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
During her time on The Golden Girls, Getty, along with Steve Delsohn, co-wrote an autobiography entitled If I Knew Then, What I Know Now... So What? (Contemporary Books, 1988). She further capitalized on her success by releasing an exercise video for senior citizens in 1993.
In 1992, following her seven-season role on The Golden Girls, Getty, with Betty White and Rue McClanahan returned as their characters Sophia Petrillo, Rose Nylund and Blanche Devereaux respectively, in the spin-off series, The Golden Palace. The new show saw the three remaining cast members from the original series invest in a Miami hotel. The series was cancelled after just one season. Getty reprised her role of Sophia once again for a guest appearance in Nurses, and for the final time when she joined Empty Nest, another spin-off series from The Golden Girls. She appeared in the series for the final two seasons.
Getty made numerous guest appearances on a diverse variety of popular television series, including Fantasy Island, Cagney & Lacey, Blossom, Touched by an Angel, Mad About You and The Nanny. Her numerous film roles include Tootsie, Mask and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, alongside Sylvester Stallone, which earned her a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.
She was married to Arthur Gettleman (whose name she adapted into her stage name) from December 21, 1947 until his death in 2004. The couple had two sons: Carl Gettleman, who lives in California, and Barry Gettleman, who lives in Florida.
In 1991, as later reported in Star magazine, Getty helped to nurse her 29-year-old nephew Steven Scher, who was near death and suffering from the final stages of AIDS. Because Scher's parents lived in England and his friends were no longer able to care for him in Greensboro, North Carolina, Getty had him flown to California and admitted to hospice care. He died in January 1992.
In 2000, Getty stopped making public appearances after revealing she had Parkinson's disease and osteoporosis. Upon reassessment, Getty's diagnosis was revised to Lewy body dementia, a form of dementia that has similar symptoms to both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Golden Girls cast members who attempted to talk to her on the phone or in person found that she couldn't remember them, or anything about the show. Bea Arthur said that even during production of the series, Getty had so much trouble remembering her lines that they should have known something was wrong from the beginning.
In 2003, Lifetime television hosted a Golden Girls reunion, The Golden Girls: Their Greatest Moments. In 2008, the show was awarded the Pop Culture award at the Sixth Annual TV Land Awards. Getty did not participate in either project due to declining health.
|1982||Tootsie||Middle Aged Woman|
|1984||No Man's Land||Eurol Miller||TV movie|
|1984||Victims for Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story||TV movie|
|1985||Copacabana||Bella Stern||TV movie|
|1987||Mannequin||Mrs. Claire Timkin|
|1992||Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot||Mrs. Tutti Bomowski||Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress|
|1997||A Match Made in Heaven||Betty Weston||TV movie|
|1999||The Sissy Duckling||Mrs. Hennypecker||Voice, TV movie|
|1999||Stuart Little||Grandma Estelle|
|2000||The Million Dollar Kid||Sister Rosanne|
|1981||Nurse||Sadie Mandler||Episode: "Equal Opportunity"|
|1982||Baker's Dozen||Mrs. Locasale||Episode: "Dear John"|
|1984||Fantasy Island||Money Lady||Episode: "The Match Maker"|
|1984||Cagney & Lacey||Mrs. Rosenmeyer||Episode: "Baby Broker"|
|1984||Hotel||Roberta Abrams||Episode: "Intimate Strangers"|
|1985||Newhart||Miriam the Librarian||Episode: "What Makes Dick Run"|
|1985–1992||The Golden Girls||Sophia Petrillo||180 episodes|
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female in a Television Series (1991–92)
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1986–87, 1989–92)
|1987||Roomies||Mama||Episode: "Mid-Term Fever"|
|1990||City||Helen Rutledge||Episode: "Seems Like Old Times"|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Sophia Petrillo||TV special|
|1991||The Fanelli Boys||Dr. Newman||Episode: "Doctor, Doctor""|
|1991||Blossom||Sophia Petrillo||Episode: "I Ain't Got No Body"|
|1992–1993||The Golden Palace||Sophia Petrillo||24 episodes|
|1993||Nurses||Sophia Petrillo||Episode: "Temporary Setbacks"|
|1993–1995||Empty Nest||Sophia Petrillo||52 episodes|
|1996||Touched by an Angel||Dottie||Episode: "The Sky Is Falling"|
|1996||Brotherly Love||Myrna Burwell||Episode: "Motherly Love"|
|1997||Mad About You||Paul's Aunt Ida||Episode: "The Birth: Part 1"|
|1997||Duckman||Aunt Jane||Voice, Episode: "Westward, No!"|
|1998||The Nanny||Herself||Episode: "Making Whoopi"|
|2000||Ladies Man||Sophia Gates||Episode: "Romance"|
|2001||Intimate Portrait||Herself||Episode: "Estelle Getty"|
|2001||It's Like, You Know...||Herself||Episode: "Lust for Life", (final appearance)|
|1982||Torch Song Trilogy||Mrs. Beckoff|||
The 13th Golden Raspberry Awards were held on March 28, 1993, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to recognize the worst the movie industry had to offer in 1992. Shining Through and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot each won three Razzies, though the latter wasn't nominated for Worst Picture. The list of nominees follows with recipients denoted in bold. Just like Bill Cosby, Tom Selleck did not attend his award and later accepted it on The Chevy Chase Show.40th Primetime Emmy Awards
The 40th Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, August 28, 1988. The ceremony was broadcast on Fox from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California. The ceremony was pushed back from its newly established September date because of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Cable stations HBO and Showtime received their first major nominations at this ceremony.
Despite a season that consisted of only six episodes, newcomer series The Wonder Years won Outstanding Comedy Series. After winning his fourth consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, John Larroquette requested to have his name taken off of the ballot for future ceremonies. Frank's Place became the most recent show whose only season was nominated for Outstanding Comedy/Drama Series.
In the drama field L.A. Law came into the ceremony as the defending champ and with 15 major nominations, (second most ever by a drama series at that time), it was seen as the heavy favorite. However, it was upset by another first season show, thirtysomething which won four major awards on the night including Outstanding Drama Series, L.A. Law only won one major award. The duo of Cagney & Lacey won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the sixth consecutive year, this tied The Mary Tyler Moore Show's record for acting categories, which still stands, (it stood for all categories until The Daily Show with Jon Stewart won ten consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series). With the wins for Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty, The Golden Girls became the most recent show to have all of its cast members win Emmys. It became the second series to do so, following All in the Family. Two other programs would accomplish this feat: Will & Grace in 2003, and The Simpsons in 2014.
There was controversy during the nomination process regarding the PBS series Rumpole of the Bailey. The series was initially placed in the miniseries field, but soon after the Academy disqualified it and placed it in the drama series field. Its slot in the miniseries category was filled by The Bourne Identity.Acting age
Acting age is an age, or range of ages, that an actor lists on his or her résumé. It is not a claim to an actual chronological age, but a suggestion as to what age or ages the actor considers themselves capable of credibly portraying.Empty Nest
Empty Nest is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from October 8, 1988, to April 29, 1995. The series, which was created as a spin-off of The Golden Girls by creator and producer Susan Harris, starred Richard Mulligan as recently widowed pediatrician Dr. Harry Weston, whose two adult daughters return home to live with him.
For its first three seasons, Empty Nest was one of the year's top 10 most-watched programs. It was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions in association with Touchstone Television.Empty Nest was part of NBC's Saturday night block of programming, and during its first four seasons it aired at 9:30pm ET, directly following The Golden Girls.Full Moon Over Miami
Full Moon Over Miami is a one-off programming block of a three-way, two-hour crossover event on NBC which involved three television sitcoms created by Susan Harris: The Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Nurses. The event depicts a fictional full moon on Leap Day storming into the storylines of the three series set in Miami, Florida. The episodes aired back-to-back on Saturday, February 29, 1992 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. EST.The Full Moon Over Miami block is similar to the previous NBC Hurricane Saturday block of November 9, 1991 when a fictional hurricane was woven into the storylines of the same three series.Hurricane Saturday
Hurricane Saturday is a one-off programming block of a three-way, two-hour crossover event on NBC which involved three television sitcoms created by Susan Harris: The Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Nurses. The event depicts a fictional hurricane storming into the storylines of the three series set in Miami, Florida. The episodes aired back-to-back on Saturday, November 9, 1991 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. EST.Ladies Man (1999 TV series)
Ladies Man is an American television sitcom series starring Alfred Molina as husband, father, son, ex-husband and son-in-law who lives with a number of women under one roof. The show was first broadcast on September 20, 1999, and lasted for two seasons on CBS until June 27, 2001. The series co-starred Betty White and is perhaps most memorable for reuniting White and her Golden Girls co-stars Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty in one of the later episodes.List of awards and nominations received by The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American television sitcom created by Susan Harris and produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions. The series focuses on four older women all sharing a home in Miami, Florida. Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty portray the four main characters Dorothy Zbornak, Rose Nylund, Blanche Devereaux and Sophia Petrillo. The Golden Girls aired on NBC from September 14, 1985 to May 9, 1992, broadcasting 180 episodes over seven seasons during its initial run.
During the series' run, The Golden Girls received nominations for a variety of different awards, including 68 Emmy Awards (with 11 wins), 21 Golden Globe Awards (with 4 wins), 5 American Comedy Awards (all wins), 3 Directors Guild of America Awards (with 2 wins), and 5 Writers Guild of America Awards (with one win). The lead actresses all won Emmy Awards — Arthur, McClanahan and White won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Getty won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The cast were named Disney Legends in 2009.Mannequin (1987 film)
Mannequin is a 1987 American romantic comedy film starring Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Meshach Taylor, James Spader, G. W. Bailey and Estelle Getty. Directed and written by Michael Gottlieb, the film was also co-written by Edward Rugoff. The original music score was composed by Sylvester Levay. The film, a modern retelling of the Pygmalion myth, tells about a chronically underemployed artist named Jonathan Switcher (played by Andrew McCarthy) who gets a job as a department-store window dresser and falls in love with a mannequin (played by Kim Cattrall)—the attraction being that she comes to life on occasion, but only for him.
Mannequin received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its main title song, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship. The song reached #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 on April 4, 1987, and #1 on the UK Singles Chart for four weeks the following month. In 1991, a sequel to the film called Mannequin Two: On the Move was released.Mask (film)
Mask is a 1985 American biographical drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Cher, Sam Elliott, and Eric Stoltz with supporting roles played by Dennis Burkley, Laura Dern, Estelle Getty, and Richard Dysart. Cher received the 1985 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress. The film is based on the life and early death of Roy L. "Rocky" Dennis, a boy who had craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, an extremely rare disorder known commonly as lionitis due to the disfiguring cranial enlargements that it causes. Mask won the Academy Award for Best Makeup while Cher and Stoltz received Golden Globe Award nominations for their performances.No Man's Land (1984 film)
No Man's Land is a 1984 American made-for-television western film. The film featured Marc Alaimo, Donna Dixon, Terri Garber, Jack Garner, Estelle Getty, Sam J. Jones, Janis Paige, and Stella Stevens. It was directed by Rod Holcomb and written by Juanita Bartlett.One to Grow On
One to Grow On is an educational public service announcement (PSA) that broadcast during NBC's Saturday morning line-up from 1983 to 1989, when the network ran cartoons. The name is taken from the custom of putting an extra candle on a birthday cake as "one to grow on". One to Grow On focused on ethical and personal safety dilemmas and attempts to teach viewers how to solve them. The PSA appeared immediately after the end credits of an NBC cartoon, such as ABC did with Schoolhouse Rock! and CBS with In the News.
The segments were hosted by the stars of NBC primetime series, including Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, and Justine Bateman from Family Ties; Mr. T and Dwight Schultz from The A-Team; Soleil Moon Frye from Punky Brewster; David Hasselhoff from Knight Rider; Kim Fields, Nancy McKeon, Lisa Whelchel, and Charlotte Rae from The Facts of Life; Richard Moll from Night Court; Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Tempestt Bledsoe from The Cosby Show; Perry King and Thom Bray from Riptide; Joel Higgins and Rick Schroder from Silver Spoons; Kadeem Hardison from A Different World; Jackée Harry from 227; Estelle Getty and Betty White from The Golden Girls; and Michael Landon from Highway to Heaven.
Although many of the celebrities featured were from sitcoms or shows that kids were familiar with, René Enríquez from the adult oriented prime time show Hill Street Blues also hosted a segment; specifically on how children should not be watching his TV show since it was broadcast too late, past a typical child's bedtime on a school night. Another special move was when pro athlete Ozzie Smith hosted a segment which revolved around the issue of usage of snuff, where Smith explained in his segment that he is not a user of snuff and it has nothing to do at all with baseball playing ability or the "image of the big leagues". A few segments featured a young Jaleel White as one of the child actors.
The PSAs begin with an animated sequence that leads into an animated TV on which an actor appears. After the actor introduces himself or herself (which, until 1986, was followed by a 30-second commercial), a live-action sequence appears, in which a child faces an ethical dilemma. One to Grow On cuts back to the actor, who explains to the viewer how to solve the problem. The child then either has to own up to the consequences of the action or make an effort to recitfy the situation. The actor ends the segment by saying, "And that's One to Grow On."
One to Grow On was replaced by The More You Know in September 1989.Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. In early Primetime Emmy Award ceremonies, the supporting categories were not always genre, or even gender, specific. Beginning with the 22nd Primetime Emmy Awards, supporting actresses in comedy have competed alone. However, these comedic performances often included actors from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below:
# – Indicates a performance in a Miniseries or Television film, prior to the category's creation.
§ – Indicates a performance as a guest performer, prior to the category's creation.Sid Melton
Sid Melton (May 22, 1917 – November 2, 2011) was an American actor. He played the roles of incompetent carpenter Alf Monroe in the CBS sitcom Green Acres and Uncle Charlie Halper, proprietor of the Copa Club, in The Danny Thomas Show and its spin-offs. He appeared in about 140 film and television projects in a career that spanned nearly 60 years. Among his most famous films were Lost Continent with Cesar Romero, The Steel Helmet with Gene Evans and Robert Hutton, The Lemon Drop Kid with Bob Hope, and Lady Sings The Blues with Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. He was a regular on The Danny Thomas Show and Green Acres, and appeared in flashback on several episodes of The Golden Girls as Salvadore Petrillo, the long-dead husband of Sophia (played by Estelle Getty) and father of Dorothy (played by Beatrice Arthur).Sophia Petrillo
Sophia Petrillo is a fictional character from the TV series The Golden Girls, and its spin-offs The Golden Palace and Empty Nest and one episode each of the series, Blossom and Nurses. She was portrayed by Estelle Getty for 10 years and 258 episodes.Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a 1992 American buddy cop comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty. The film was released in the United States on February 21, 1992.
In 2006, Stallone stated that this was the worst film he ever starred in, and that he regretted making it.The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom created by Susan Harris that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes spanning seven seasons. The show stars Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty as four older women who share a home in Miami, Florida. It was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, in association with Touchstone Television, and Paul Junger Witt. Tony Thomas and Harris served as the original executive producers.
The Golden Girls received critical acclaim throughout most of its run and won several awards including the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series twice. It also won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Each of the four stars received an Emmy Award, making it one of only three sitcoms in the award's history to achieve this. The series also ranked among the top-10 highest-rated programs for six of its seven seasons. In 2013, TV Guide ranked The Golden Girls number 54 on its list of the 60 Best Series of All Time. In 2014, the Writers Guild of America placed the sitcom at number 69 in their list of the "101 Best Written TV Series of All Time".The Golden Girls (season 1)
The first season of the American television comedy series The Golden Girls originally aired on NBC in the United States between September 14, 1985 and May 10, 1986. Created by television writer Susan Harris, the series was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions and Touchstone Television. It stars Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, and Estelle Getty as the main characters Dorothy Zbornak, Blanche Devereaux, Rose Nylund, and Sophia Petrillo. The series revolves around the lives of four elderly women living together in a house in Miami.
The first season of The Golden Girls premiered to strong ratings for NBC, ranking number one in its first week on air and number seven among all primetime programs airing during the 1985–86 primetime network season. Upon its initial airing, the show was met with critical acclaim and was the recipient of various industry awards, including three Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe awards. Warner Bros. Home Video released the first season on DVD in the United States on February 7, 2006, and in Canada on April 10, 2007.