Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Women We Love: Estelle Getty

This is the fourth in a four-part Women We Love salute to The Golden Girls, now airing daily on the Hallmark Channel:

Object of our affection: Estelle Getty, actress.

- She got her start as an actress on the stages of the Yiddish theater and honed her crack comic timing as a comedienne in the Catskills borscht belt resorts.

- Her performance as "Ma" (mother to Harvey Fierstein's Arnold Beckoff) in Torch Song Trilogy on Broadway and off earned her critical acclaim and a Drama Desk Award nomination.

- But it is her classic portrayal of the feisty but loveable Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls that earned her greatest fame, as well as an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe. In fact, she was nominated for the Emmy every year the show was on the air, and was the only Girl to win a Globe. (She was also a year younger than Beatrice Arthur, who played her daughter Dorothy on the beloved sitcom.)

- Sophia was so popular, she would reprise the character in the Girls spin-offs The Golden Palace and Empty Nest, as well as in guest spots on Blossom and Nurses.

- Her film appearances included Tootsie, Mask, Mannequin, Stuart Little and (as Sylvester Stallone's mother) the infamous Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.

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