Estelle Getty dead at 84

Jul 22, 2008 at 2:04 p.m. ET

"Golden Girls" alum Estelle Getty, who played the feisty Sophia Petrillo, died today in her Los Angeles home. She was 84.

We'll miss you, EstelleThe tiny actress struggled to make her career for 40 years before being cast in the role of a lifetime as the sarcastic mother of Dorothy, played by Bea Arthur.Getty suffered from advanced dementia and passes surrounded by family at 5:30 AM Tuesday, said her son Carl Gettleman."She was loved throughout the world in six continents, and if they loved sitcoms in Antarctica she would have been loved on seven continents," he said. "She was one of the most talented comedic actresses who ever lived."Getty was the last actress cast in the successful sitcom about four retired women living it up in Miami. The other three women had already been costars on successful shows: Bea Arthur in "Maude", Betty White in "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and Rue McClanahan in "Mama's Country."The disease from which the actress suffered, Lewy Body Dementia, shares characteristics with both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease such as confusion and rigid body movements.What other stars have burned out? Check out the SheKnows Obituary section.

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