Golden girl Estelle Getty dies, 84
Golden Girl Estelle Getty, pictured left, passed away early this morning, the AP reports. She was 84. The comic actress is known most famously for the hit 1980s sitcom "The Golden Girls," which has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to constant repeats on the cable channel Lifetime.
Getty, who suffered from advanced dementia, died at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at her Hollywood Boulevard home, said her son, Carl Gettleman of Santa Monica.
"She was loved throughout the world in six continents, and if they loved sitcoms in Antarctica she would have been loved on seven continents," her son said. "She was one of the most talented comedic actresses who ever lived."
"The Golden Girls," featuring four female retirees sharing a house in Miami, grew out of NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff's belief that television was ignoring its older viewers.
Three of its stars had already appeared in previous series: Bea Arthur in "Maude," Betty White in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Rue McClanahan in "Mama's Family." The last character to be cast was Sophia Petrillo, the feisty 80-something mother of Arthur's character.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne