Estelle Getty 1923-2008

My grandmother, who passed away when I was 18, used to watch The Golden Girls with me all the time. I loved Estelle Getty like damn and whoa. I think I have a weakness for anyone who used to be a Catskills comedian, because I also rock a total crush on Fyvush Finkel like you have no idea.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how bummed I am that Getty passed away yesterday at 82. I used to picture Getty when I read the early Stephanie Plum novels as a sort of model for Grandma Mazur. For that reason, if you say the words “pesto” or “gumpy” to me, I will giggle like a fool.

ETA: Note to self – set the DVR for Friday, as Lifetime (which is normally “Television that Makes Sarah Screech”) will air a Golden Girls marathon with the best of Sofia. I hope the pesto sauce makes it into the lineup.

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  1. 1

    What you said.  Even the Grandma Mazur comment.  It was my Mom who loved GOLDEN GIRLS. 

    God speed and God bless Estelle.

    Did you catch your crush for FF by watching PICKET FENCES?  He was so darn cute on that show.

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    Yup. “Picket Fences” was where it started. Then I saw him singing old Yiddish theatre songs on Conan and that was it. I was a Fyvush Fan.

  3. 3
    Ann says:

    Me too.  My favorite though is when she really cried at Dorothy’s wedding.

    Though I must admit, I was the one who watched it.  In junior high…  And constantly on reruns.  I’m just attracted to the aged television shows.  My husband cringes whenever he hears the theme music to Murder She Wrote.

    Spam word:  Chance75.  By chance, am I 75?  No, but I guess my viewing patterns are those of a 75 year old!

  4. 4

    I used to watch Golden Girls after school every day!  It was like Sex and the City + menopause, funny and racy and way ahead of its time.  Loved it.

  5. 5
    Julie Leto says:

    Did you all know that Golden Girls was recently all the rage on college campuses?  The show has a huge young following!  Being that I was trapped at home recently following surgery, I gotta tell you…it’s a timeless show.  Sophia was *exactly* like my grandmother…only her wisecracks were in Italian, so I was never exactly sure of what she said…but she wasn’t one to censor herself, that was for sure.

    Estelle Getty was a brilliant actress.  I think the whole show was underrated because it was a cast of women dealing with women’s issues…just like Designing Women and many others.  But I think it was brilliant and timeless.  God rest her soul.

  6. 6
    Tina says:

    I still watch the reruns…thank you Lifetime!  My husband says I’m Dorothy now, but sees Sophia in my future…ha ha!

    From what I understand, Estelle Getty was sick, very sick, for a long time and now she can rest in peace.  I’m sure “the girls” miss her terribly.

  7. 7
    rebyj says:

    I would roll my eyes at the golden girls when it first aired. My mom would laugh her butt off, dad would leave the room in a huff and callthem dirty old women….
    fast forward to my 40s, I watch the reruns and laugh my butt off, my 11 year old begs for more spongebob squarepants ,gives up and goes off to play xbox, my honey watches tv in his own room and yells “YOU BETTER NOT BE THAT OLD YET!!!” lol

    RIP Estelle I’m old enough to get the jokes now and they are FUNNY!

  8. 8
    mearias says:

    God Bless Her!  Picture it… Always loved those beginnings from the Golden Girls interactions.

  9. 9
    Sarah says:

    I always found it funny that she was younger than Bea Arthur – who played her daughter.  And I always thought that Getty was the best thing on that show.

  10. 10
    Elyssa says:

    My sympathies go to Estelle’s family.

    On Entertainment Tonight, they said that Estelle Getty suffered from dementia from many years and passed away at home surrounded by love ones and her caregivers.

    She was hilarious on that show. I loved The Golden Girls—-Sophia and Rose were two of my favorite.  Actually, they all were.  Fun memories associated with watching that show.

  11. 11
    Monica Burns says:

    OMG, I hadn’t heard that news. I loved her on GGs, her character was SO much like my great-grandmother who was from Sicily. The sharp tongue, the evil eye, the harshness covering the caring.

  12. 12
    TracyS says:

    I used to watch Golden Girls with my mom.  Sophia was the best!  I remember the Pesto Sauce (ear medicine) show!

    I’ll have to watch Lifetime on Friday!

    Oh, and I totally imagined her as Grandma Mazur too!

  13. 13
    Karen Ranney says:

    I think I’ve seen every episode of The Golden Girls at least seven times, first in my thirties and more recently in my…ahem, never mind.  I remember my mom and I laughing like loons, but I never imagined that some of the amusement would become so self-directed.

    Humor and fond memories – what a great legacy.

  14. 14
    SonomaLass says:

    Estelle Getty was a brilliant comedian, with impeccable timing.  I have often used her as an example to students in my acting classes, how she captured the essence of Sophia so well.  Yet she was dependent on the make-up people to get her to look the part, for which she had to audition several times, as the network honchos didn’t believe she would look old enough. I always enjoyed watching her work on screen, especially when she got to play her own age occasionally—she was great as Cher’s mother in Mask.  Of course a lot of her best work was on stage (Torch Song Trilogy, brilliant) and so unavailable for re-runs.

  15. 15
    ev says:

    I do beleive on janet’s website, she was the number one in the running to play Grandma Mazur if the movie ever got made. People cast their votes there all the time for the characters. i think Sandra Bullock has finally gotten too old to play Stephanie.

    We used to sit in the breakroom at the bookstore and watch GG during out lunchs. Then they took away the tv. Just one of many reasons I am giving my notice soon.

    spamword- hell26!! No comments needed on that one!!

  16. 16
    dragonfly says:

    I remember going to a couple of parties in the late 80’s where my friend made his own music tapes and every 2 or 3 songs there would be a one line comment from “The Golden Girls”.  The best was always the one’s from Sofia.  The I got hooked on the Stephanie Plum novels solely so I could ‘hear’ the comments in a Sofia voice in my head with the Grandma Mazur character.

  17. 17
    amy lane says:

    Awww…that’s too bad.  I was hoping she’d outlive me!  I used to watch that show with my grandma—and yes, just like you, I used to picture Estelle as Grandma Mazur.  *sigh*  Bummer.

  18. 18
    Kim says:

    My friends often rag on me and call me Sophia because I tend to sit with my purse in my lap all the time.

    My heart goes out to her family, Im sure she will be missed very much.

    Thank you for being a friend, Estelle.

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