THE GOLDEN GIRLS star ESTELLE GETTY has died of dementia, just three days
before her 85th birthday.
She passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning (22Jul08) at her Los
Angeles, California home.
The actress had endured a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia, a disease
exhibiting symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s.
Born in New York in 1923, Getty began her acting career with a small part in
1978 comedy Team-Mates.
She went on to land roles in 1982 classic Tootsie and 1985’s Mask, but it was
her turn as wise-cracking Sicilian mother Sophia Petrillo on 1980s sitcom The
Golden Girls that made her a household name.
She is also known for her stint on New York’s Broadway in a 1982 production
of Torch Song Trilogy.
Getty later starred in movies including Stuart Little, Throw Momma From The
Train, and Mannequin.
Paying tribute to the star, her longtime care-giver Paul Chapdelaine says,
“Sadly, today July 22, 2008 at 5:35 a.m. Pacific Time, we said our last
good-byes to our little friend Estelle, who passed away and made her journey to
the great beyond. Although it was a trip that she never wanted to take, she
went gracefully, in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her family and
her very loving care-givers.
“Estelle’s legacy will live on and on through the comedy and laughter she
gave to us all, which will forever keep us laughing out loud…
“Estelle was a fighter. She always stood up for the underdogs, fought for
equality for all, and always pictured a world filled with “Love and Laughter” –
her most favorite catch phrase.
“Estelle, we love you and will miss you dearly. We pray that you are met at
the Pearly Gate with open arms and a warm welcome by all who have passed before
you…. You have touched my life, and the lives of so many others who will
never forget you.”
The Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress is survived by two adult sons
from her marriage to Arthur Gettleman. He passed away in 2004.