Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Estelle Getty, 1923-2008
Estelle Getty, lead spitfire of the Golden Girls, dead at the age of 84. The dirty little secret of "Golden Girls" - aside from Rue McClanahan's lengthy, nasty heroin habit - was that although Getty played Dorothy's mother, and the other two stars were supposed to be of Dorothy's generation, Estelle was younger than both Bea Arthur and Betty White. Being of a petite build, she fit more naturally into the elderly lady role - Getty was a pixieish four-foot-ten-and-a-half while Bea Arthur was six-foot-six, 300 pounds.
Getty was also known for her triumphant turn as Sylvester Stallone's mother in the 1992 comedy classic Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. When I was in Austria in 1992, this film was playing in Innsbruck, where it was billed as Stop! Oder Mein Mammi Scheisst, which means that just seeing the poster had the benefit of doubling the number of words in my German vocabulary. Getty supposedly agreed to do the film as long as there were no actual guns in it, which makes you wonder what they told her the movie was called.
I's just kidding about Rue McClanahan.