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Estelle Getty

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Estelle Getty has performed in contemporary as well as experimental theater for more than half a century. Getty is an original character herself. Born and raised in New York City, she was trained for the New York stage by The Herbert Berghof Studios and Gerald Russak. After a long stage career, Getty blossomed into national prominence with her much-heralded role in Broadway's Tony Award-winning Torch Song Trilogy. Her portrayal of the inimitable Mrs. Beckoff won her the first-ever Helen Hayes Award as Best Supporting Performer.

When the show arrived in Los Angeles, Hollywood discovered Estelle Getty. In her first six months there, while performing the play at night, Getty also shot the NBC pilot No Man's Land, in which she starred with Stella Stevens; Mask, in which she played the mother of Cher's character; and Copacabana, in which she played the mother of Barry Manilow's character. (Estelle often jokes that she has played everyone's mother except Attila the Hun's.)

During the first season that The Golden Girls was on the air, Getty won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. After nominations in 1986 and 1987, she won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1988.

Getty has a forthrightness that has made her a spokesperson for many AIDS-related charities. She has also become the pre-eminent voice in this country for the ever-growing senior citizen population and works with such nonprofit organizations as Alternative Living for the Aging, which organizes cooperative housing for seniors.

She has also written a book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now...So What? published by Contemporary Books.

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