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Estelle Getty, the tiny, sardonic Sophia on the classic '80s sitcom "The Golden Girls" died Tuesday morning at the age of 84.The actress, who toiled for four decades before landing the memorable role, had been struggling from advanced dementia, her son told the Associated Press.Sophia's quick humor and sarcastic nature also loomed larger than her diminutive stature on the show, which followed four female retirees living in Florida - Rose (Betty White), Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and Dorothy (Bea Arthur). Though barely in her 60s, Getty played an octogenarian - and her fights with daughter Dorothy and quick wit in response to the dim-witted Rose and flirtatious Blanche were comedy gold. She won two Emmys during the show's run, from 1985 to 1992.But Getty's Sophia was more than just a character. She was the woman you watched wishing she was your grandmother - or at least you wished your grandmother would somehow channel her quick wit.Don't get me wrong, I love my grandmothers to death, but they weren't cute little Italian old ladies with impossible timing, dry humor and great Old World-style cooking skills. Of course, no grandmother has her own stable of writers scripting her every move, but Sophia never seemed canned, forced or memorized, she was perfectly believable, lovable and irrasicable.You felt the embarrassment that she inflicted on others, but you loved her for inflicting the pain, because, well, she was always right. You wanted to hug her and yet you didn't want to be close enough to be in the line of fire. And really, it was never quite right when she wasn't in a scene, adding light, humor and a good dose of cantankerousness.She was a real person week after week, and she still seems fresh to this day.Check out some of Sophia's greatest hits:And tell us, what do you love about "The Golden Girls"?


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