Estelle Getty

Estelle Getty was born one hundred years ago to Polish immigrants. She has been gone for fifteen years but is still remembered by Seniors as Sophia Petrillo, the comical mother on “The Golden Girls.” If you haven’t watched the sitcom, look for it on the Internet. Tis the season for a good laugh.

Small But Mighty

Estelle was the poster child for “small but mighty.” Only 4’10” but determined and unafraid to state her mind. At the age of five, she was studying dance, song, and drama. High school graduation found her first performing in a Yiddish theater group and then attempting comedy in the Catskills. Unfortunately, female comics were not as appreciated then as they are now. After WWll, Estelle married and worked as a secretary, periodically filling theater roles as an abrasive, sarcastic woman. When managers urged Estelle to try Hollywood, she promised to give the opportunity two months… after all, she was sixty-two. The rest is “Golden Girl” history. Nominated seven times for an Emmy, Estelle took one home in 1984. The American Comedy Award for best supporting actress in a comedy sitcom quickly followed in 1991 and 1992. Estelle confirmed she was not a quitter.

Advocating For All

Estelle was an advocate for HIV/AIDS and even built a Hospice House for those suffering from the disease. Another chosen cause was Alternative Living for the Aging, a nonprofit organization locating cooperative housing for Senior citizens. If she were alive today, she just might be on staff at Bridge to Better Living!

Estelle began to forget her lines during filming of The Golden Girls and before long was diagnosed with Lewy Body disease, an extremely painful and misunderstood type of dementia. Although her prognosis was only two years, in typical “Sophia Petrillo” fashion, she outlived experts’ predictions by six years.

Bridge to Better Living finds both power and compassion in Estelle’s life. She loved being and portraying a Senior. The character of Sophia always carried a purse because “women shed so many possessions in later years that everything they own ends up in purses.” Bridge to Better assists clients to find all they need and want when transitioning to Independent, Assisted, Memory Assisted, or Long-Term Care. Contact them today. They will make sure everything fits.

The facts of Estelle’s life have been borrowed from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001268/bio/ and https://www.denverpost.com/2008/07/22/getty-golden-late-in-career/.