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Mourning Estelle

Yesterday, as I walked to the subway, I checked my voicemail messages. There was one there from my brother telling me that Estelle Getty passed away. To some of you, this may be just another celebrity death. For others, Ms. Getty doesn't even warrant the title 'celebrity'. But for me, it was a sad, sad day.

You can say what you want about her, but Estelle Getty, and, in fact, all of the Golden Girls, is one funny lady. The genius and beauty of the Golden Girls should not be taken lightly. Here was a primetime sitcom (aired, if I recall, on Friday nights, before the advent of TGIF, for my mutual kids of the 90s) starring four women in their later years. Can you name another sitcom that focused on elder females? Even to this day, the idea seems absurd and taboo. Youth is in, always has been, always will be. But these four chicks were able to transcend that with clever writing and (more importantly) genius acting. Make no doubt about it, Estelle Getty's Sophia was great because of her timing and cadence of speech, whether she was trying to pull one over her daughter Dorothy or snapping at Rose to shut up. The acerbic humor was sharp and her delivery sharper.

I really cannot do Ms. Getty justice, so I won't even try. Suffice it to say that there were times that she had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, and there were times where she almost made me cry (almost because I'm a tough guy....AYE). I specifically remember the episode when she made friends with an elderly black man at the local beach, where they would sit on a bench discussing their dead spouses and life gone by. In that episode, Sophia eventually learned that her new friend had Alzheimers, when he flipped out and started yelling at her, asking who she was and why she was talking to him. The look of heartbreak on Sophia's face sold me on both the friendship between these two disparate characters and the torture the friends and families of Alzheimer victims suffer as they watch thier loved ones lose their grip on reality. Even now, I am touched just remembering it.

This is no joke. Estelle Getty was a great actress and has a special place in my heart.

Goodbye, Estelle. It was a pleasure getting to spend some time with you in Miami with the rest of the girls.

Until next time, make mine late night cheesecake!

posted by Jordan @ 3:13 PM,


At 11:00 PM, Blogger toolowbrow said...

in some ways, as sad as carlin

go play a little chess

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Dawn Summers said...

Nice post. But the Golden Girls was definitely a Saturday night NBC show! After empty nest, before Hunter!


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