Estelle Getty

American actress (1923–2008)

Estelle Gettleman (née Scher; July 25, 1923 – July 22, 2008), known professionally as Estelle Getty, was an American actress and comedian best known for her portrayal of Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls (1985–92), for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.

Getty in 1989


  • The only time you'll see me as a Democrat is when I play Sophia. In the real world I'm a Republican from head to toe.
    • Interview, The Sun Sentenial, May 11, 1986

"Estelle Getty, ‘Golden Girls’ Matriarch, Dies at 84" (2008)


"Estelle Getty, ‘Golden Girls’ Matriarch, Dies at 84", New York Times, July 23, 2008

  • Age does not bring you wisdom, age brings you wrinkles.
  • I think they look upon me as an old child, because I'm so little.
  • Being tiny has been difficult for me in a business that regarded physicality as the most important part of your life.
  • People assume that I'm wiser than I am because I'm somewhat successful. Age does not bring you wisdom, age brings you wrinkles. If you're dumb when you're young, you're going to be dumb when you're old.
  • Too many of you, my friends, are dying. Now it's time for me to do my part and help you.
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