Very sad news today: Estelle Getty, beloved star of The Golden Girls, passed away this morning at the age of 84.
Getty won an Emmy (out of seven nominations) and a Golden Globe for her indelible portrayal of the feisty Sophia Petrillo on the classic sitcom. Her character was so popular, she made guest appearances in the role on Blossom and Nurses and co-starred in the Girls spin-offs The Golden Palace and Empty Nest.
Outside of television, she originated the role of Arnold Beckoff's "ma" in Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy on stage and also appeared in the movies Mask, Mannequin, Stuart Little and the infamous Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
Rue McClanahan paid tribute to Getty in a statement released this afternoon: "Estelle always wanted to be an actress and she achieved that goal beyond her dreams. Don't feel sad about her passing, she will always be with us in her crowning achievement, Sophia."