The longtime stage actress (and one-time secretary) landed the role of a lifetimeSophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls.
Feisty senior Sophia Petrillo was Estelle Getty's role of a lifetime, but she almost didn't get the part. It took both wit and a white wig to convince the Golden Girls producers that the youthful-looking 62-year-old was perfect to play mom to 63-year-old Bea Arthur. The petite actresswho described herself as "somewhere under five feet" and "somewhere under 90 pounds"enjoyed her late-in-life stardom until her death in 2008 at the age of 84. As she told People: "The nice thing about making it at this stage is that I don't have to worry about staying up here that long."