Health has deteriorated considerably - although there is a Golden Girls reunion Program being considered, she is too ill to take part in the show. [July 2003]
Getty's career actually began when she was much younger on the 'borscht belt' circuit and Yiddish stage, but she gave it up to raise a family. She returned to acting much later and became a hit on Broadway as Harvey Fierstein's meddling mom in "Torch Song Trilogy". It was the L.A. tour of this show that led to her being cast in The Golden Girls (1985) and at age 62 she became an "overnight" TV star.
Between The Golden Girls (1985), The Golden Palace (1992), and "Empty Nest" (1988)_, she played Sophia Petrillo for ten consecutive seasons.
Although her character of Sophia often made jokes about the Republican party on The Golden Girls (1985) Getty herself was a registered Republican, a fact she recognized in her personal biography.
Was nicknamed "Slats" by her Golden Girls costars because of her short height and light weight.