Estelle Getty

1923 - 2008

She was truly one mother of a mom...on stage, on film and on TV. A favorite firecracker on 80s and 90s television, tiny character player Estelle Getty became best known for her carping, meddlesome moms -- complete with bemused, cynical looks, irreverent digs and dead-pan Henny Youngman-like one-liners. Blunt and down-to-earth off-stage as she was on-, she scored big points with both the young and the old...and all those who fell in between. The middle-class masses and society's underdogs deemed Estelle one of their own. The star who had a hard time playing the star card also taught an earnest lesson to the millions of actor wannabes that it was never too late to get into the big leagues, pursue your dream and come out a winner. After nearly five decades of stage work, she achieved "overnight" stardom at age 62. Ill health forced her retirement in 2000 after only a decade and a half of celebrity. Yet even something as sinister as Lewy body dementia, a degenerative brain disease, couldn'

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