Tuesday, July 22, 2008

RIP: Estelle Getty

Estelle Getty, best known as the wise-cracking mother on "The Golden Girls" died today , just two days short of her 85th birthday. Getty's story is an interesting one. She was born in 1923, and wanted to make it as an actress. Getty struggled trying to get roles and working office jobs to make ends meet.

In 1985 she auditioned for the role of Bea Arthur's mother in the just-being-cast tv series "The Golden Girls." Everyone knew that if Estelle got the role, it would sorely test her acting skills since Bea Arthur was actually a year older than her. Estelle was brought back to audtion three different times since the priducers weren't sure that Estelle was convinving enough as an 80 year old. Eventually, she was awarded the role, and the rest is, as they say, history. "The Golden Girls" ran for seven years and Estelle was perfect as the fiesty oldest of the quartet.

Her popularity in "The Golden Girls," led to other roles, most notably as mothers to Sylvester Stallone ["Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!"], Cher ["Mask"] and even Barry Manilow in the tv movie "Copacabana."

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.


Rob Smith, Jr. said...

Wait! I'm confused. Did you write that Estelle Getty played Barry Manilow?

The Florida connection: 'The Golden Girls' took place in Florida and much was filmed at Orlando's Universal Studios.

Craig Zablo said...

Rob Smith said: Did you write that Estelle Getty played Barry Manilow?

Actually she was up for that part, but the producers thought she was too butch and so she ended up playing his mother!

Thanks for dropping by, Rob.

Anonymous said...


This is so sad to hear, I grew up watching this show all the time on TV and on tapes, this is like losing a family member to me, she along with the rest of the girls were basically step-grandparents when I was a kid.

R.I.P. Estelle


Anonymous said...

RIP Estelle Getty.


Anonymous said...

From the article, she was pretty sick. I had wondered why she wasn't at the TVLand awards when the cast of the Golden Girls received an award earlier this year.


Anonymous said...

She's been sick for a very long time, she got diagnosed with Parkinson disease in the late 90's.


Anonymous said...

may she rest in peace, i miss her already that sweet old lady.may she go to a better place.

Anonymous said...

rest in peace Estelle


Anonymous said...

Am I bad for thinking she was already dead?

Must've been a different Golden Girl.

RIP Estelle.

Left Hook

Anonymous said...

RIP she was great in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot :(.

The Iron Horse

Anonymous said...

Just saw the news on yahoo.

I wonder if Sly will be at her funeral?


Anonymous said...

That's sad, RIP Estelle. I loved her in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and of course The Golden Girls. She was great, really funny.


Anonymous said...

Sleep in peace, Estelle.


Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Estelle


Al Bundy's Socks

Anonymous said...

R.I.P Estelle aka Tutti Bomowski