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Estelle Getty (1923–2008)

She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman-like one-liners. Blunt and down-to-earth off-stage as she was ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls Sophia Petrillo
Mannequin Claire Timkin
Stuart Little
Stuart Little Grandma Estelle


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (35 credits)
 2001 It's Like, You Know... (TV Series)
Estelle Getty
- Lust for Life (2001) ... Estelle Getty
 2000 Ladies Man (TV Series)
Sophia Gates
- Romance (2000) ... Sophia Gates
 2000 The Million Dollar Kid
Sister Rosanne
 1999 Stuart Little
Grandma Estelle
 1999 The Sissy Duckling (TV Movie)
Mrs. Hennypecker (voice)
 1998 The Nanny (TV Series)
Estelle Getty
- Making Whoopi (1998) ... Estelle Getty
 1997 Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man (TV Series)
Aunt Jane
- Westward, No! (1997) ... Aunt Jane (voice)
 1997 Mad About You (TV Series)
Aunt Ida / Paul's Aunt
- The Birth: Part 2 (1997) ... Aunt Ida
- The Birth: Part 1 (1997) ... Paul's Aunt
 1997 A Match Made in Heaven (TV Movie)
Betty Weston
 1996 Brotherly Love (TV Series)
Myrna Burwell
- Motherly Love (1996) ... Myrna Burwell
 1996 Touched by an Angel (TV Series)
- The Sky Is Falling (1996) ... Dottie
 1988-1995 Empty Nest (TV Series)
Sophia Petrillo
- Remembrance of Clips Past (1995) ... Sophia Petrillo
- My Pal Valy-Val (1995) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Life Goes On: Part 2 (1995) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Life Goes On: Part 1 (1995) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Stand by Your Man (1995) ... Sophia Petrillo
 1993 Nurses (TV Series)
Sophia Petrillo
- Temporary Setbacks (1993) ... Sophia Petrillo
 1992-1993 The Golden Palace (TV Series)
Sophia Petrillo
- The Chicken and the Egg (1993) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Sex, Lies and Tortillas (1993) ... Sophia Petrillo
- One Angry Stan (1993) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Tad (1993) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Pros and Concierge (1993) ... Sophia Petrillo
 1985-1992 The Golden Girls (TV Series)
Sophia Petrillo
- One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest (1992) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Home Again, Rose: Part 2 (1992) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Home Again, Rose: Part 1 (1992) ... Sophia Petrillo
- Rose: Portrait of a Woman (1992) ... Sophia Petrillo
- A Midwinter Night's Dream (1992) ... Sophia Petrillo
 1991 Blossom (TV Series)
Sophia Petrillo
- I Ain't Got No Buddy (1991) ... Sophia Petrillo
 1991 The Fanelli Boys (TV Series)
Dr. Newman
- Doctor, Doctor (1991) ... Dr. Newman
 1990 City (TV Series)
Helen Rutledge
- Seems Like Old Times (1990) ... Helen Rutledge
 1990 The Earth Day Special (TV Special)
Sophia Petrillo
 1987 Roomies (TV Series)
- Mid-Term Fever (1987) ... Mama
 1987 Mannequin
Claire Timkin
 1985 Copacabana (TV Movie)
Bella Stern
 1985 Newhart (TV Series)
Elsa Carruthers
- What Makes Dick Run (1985) ... Elsa Carruthers
 1985 Mask
 1984 Hotel (TV Series)
Roberta Abrams
- Intimate Strangers (1984) ... Roberta Abrams
 1984 No Man's Land (TV Movie)
Eurol Muller
 1984 Cagney & Lacey (TV Series)
Mrs. Rosenmeyer
- Baby Broker (1984) ... Mrs. Rosenmeyer
 1984 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
Money Lady
 1983 Deadly Force
 1982 Tootsie
Middle-Aged Woman
 1982 Baker's Dozen (TV Series)
Mrs. Locasale
- Dear John (1982) ... Mrs. Locasale
 1981 Nurse (TV Series)
Sadie Mandler
- Equal Opportunity (1981) ... Sadie Mandler
 1978 Team-Mates
Show Show Soundtrack (2 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (50 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (14 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

With writer Steve Delsohn, wrote her autobiography, "If I Knew Then What I Know Now...So What?" (Contemporary Books, 1988). See more »

Publicity Listings:

9 Articles | 1 Pictorial | See more »

Alternate Names:

Estelle Gettleman | Stella Getty | Estelle Scher


4' 10½" (1.49 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

Playing Mother Beckoff for five years on stage was the role of a lifetime and I was really angry when they gave the part to Anne Bancroft [in the film]. She was just too loud and played too hard at being Jewish. EG -- referring to her career-making role in "Torch Song Trilogy". See more »


Retired in 2000 after revealing she had health issues. In the mid 1990s, she was misdiagnosed with Parkinson's disease. By the end of the 1990s, she was misdiagnosed again, this time with Alzheimer's disease. Later, she was correctly diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, which has similar symptoms to both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. See more »


Short stature


Ettle See more »

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