Thank you for being a friend – Golden Girl dies aged 84

Maggie Taylor July 23, 2008
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Golden Girls star Estelle Getty died in her Los Angeles home at 5:35 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to a report from

Beloved as the snappy Sophia Petrillo on the hit show Golden Girls Getty, 84, died three days short of her 85th birthday. She had been struggling with illness and battling Lewy Body dementia for years.

An Emmy and Golden Globe winner for her role on the long-running show, Getty was renowned for originating the role of Harvey Fierstein’s mother in the Broadway production of Torch Song Trilogy, the role Anne Bancroft played in the film.

Getty became something of a cultural icon in the gay community through her work in Torch Song and Golden Girls.

Her character of Sophia Petrillo was notoriously accepting of the gay community, including her cross-dressing son Phil and daughter Dorothy’s openly gay best-friend Jean.

“Our mother-daughter relationship was one of the greatest comic duos ever, and I will miss her,” Arthur said in a statement released to E! Online.

Getty was surrounded family and friends at the time of her death. She is survived by two sons.

© 2008; All Rights Reserved.

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