'Golden Girls' star Getty dead at 84

July 22, 2008 at 2:34 PM

LOS ANGELES, July 22 (UPI) -- Estelle Getty, the actress who played Sophia on the classic U.S. sit-com "The Golden Girls," died Tuesday at her home in Los Angeles, her caregiver said.

Getty, a New York native who would have turned 85 this week, also appeared in the films "Tootsie," "Mask," "Mannequin" and "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot."

She had suffered from Lewy Body Dementia for years, however, and her last big-screen credit was in 1999's "Stuart Little."

Getty is survived by her two adult sons, Barry and Carl, Usmagazine.com said.

Her longtime caregiver Paul Chapdelaine announced Getty's death on her Web site.

"Sadly, today July 22, 2008, at 5:35 a.m. Pacific Time, we said our last good-byes to our little friend Estelle, who passed away and made her journey to the great beyond. Although it was a trip that she never wanted to take, she went gracefully, in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by her family and her very loving caregivers," he wrote. "Estelle's legacy will live on and on through the comedy and laughter she gave to us all."

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