Estelle Getty was a very good mother.
The actress, whose knack for being cast as a maternal unit paid off handsomely when she was cast as Beatrice Arthur's no-holds-barred mother on the long-running TV hit The Golden Girls, died early today at her Los Angeles home, her son Carl Gettleman said.
Getty, who was three days shy of her 85th birthday, succumbed to Lewy Body Dementia, a disease with symptoms that mimic Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
A perennial award nominee for The Golden Girls, which ran for seven seasons, from 1985 to 1992, Getty won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work as Sophia Petrillo, the shuffling octogenarian with the muted self-censor button who was never without her handbag—or a wisecrack.
Arthur said today she will miss her former costar.