Death League Update: Estelle Getty

July 23, 2008 | Comments (0) | by T.R.

No, Estelle, Thank YOU for being a friend.

E-Claire: Estelle Getty – known to most as the feisty Sophia on The Golden Girls – passed away at the age of 84. I am particularly saddened by this…If you'll allow me to explain:

When I was younger, The Golden Girls aired in repeats on Lifetime. You know…That network that always seems to be showing depressing movies of the week about women who can't stand up for themselves? Anyway, the reruns used to come on right as my sister and I were getting home from school. Now, when you're about 13, and your sister is about 10, you don't necessarily have a lot in common. I was sort of starting to be interested in things like boys and school dances, and she was still into things like Barbies and such. Needless to say, many arguments used to break out between the two of us. However, the one thing we had in common is that we enjoyed watching reruns of The Golden Girls after school. Lord knows why we related to a bunch of 60-something women (my therapist and I are still trying to figure that one out), but we did, and we had a good time watching the show.

Now, my sister and I are older, and we're a lot closer than we were at times in our youth. But I will always remember us watching "The Golden Girls" together. She even called me today to see if I had heard the sad news about Estelle. So Estelle Getty, thank you for creating a childhood memory for me and my sister.

Brant Brown: How can anyone say anything bad about Estelle Getty? She was a trooper, ready to dish out a witty barb at a moment's notice. Little known fact: She was not the oldest of the four Golden Girls. Bea Arthur (who played her daughter) and Betty White both had her by a year. They're expected to pass soon.

Apparently Getty had been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is akin to Alzheimer's disease and sounds equally horrible. Doctors suggested that she may have acquired said dementia shortly before agreeing to play opposite Sylvester Stallone in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.

As the twisted mind of Fortuna would have it, Estelle Getty died three days before her 85th birthday, meaning that she scored 4 points for Tommy Buzanis instead of 3. Well played, Buzanis.