Photo of Estelle Getty Estelle Getty

Born Estelle Scher in New York City on July 25, 1923, Estelle Getty dabbled in theater and stand-up comedy, yet didn't truly launch her acting career until she was nearly 60, landing a high-profile role on Broadway as Harvey Fierstein's mother in "Torch Song Trilogy" (1982).

But it was playing Bea Arthur's sassy Sicilian mother on "The Golden Girls" (1985-92) that would make the best use of Getty's comedic talents -- even though, at the time, the 62-year-old actress was younger than her television daughter. As Sophia Petrillo, Getty stole countless scenes and received widespread critical acclaim, winning an Emmy, a Golden Globe and two American Comedy Awards.

Her film résumé includes supporting roles in Tootsie (1982), Mask (1985), Mannequin (1987) and Stuart Little (1999). Getty died just days before her 85th birthday on July 22, 2008.

Estelle Getty in Stuart Little

Stuart Little

1999 PG

Mr. and Mrs. Little want to adopt a brother for their only child but get more than they bargained for when they take in the precocious Stuart -- a mouse with an attitude. But Stuart may not be around long if the family cat can make a meal of him!

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