I’m down today with a cold or a flu or something. I called in sick to work and didn’t get out of bed until almost noon. When I checked my email I saw that I had several messages from different friends, all letting me know the same thing: Estelle Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo on one of the best shows ever, passed away today.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love those girls. And I mean love, like Cher-love, the Golden Girls (this sort of declaration is not used, and should not be taken, lightly). The theme music, the lanai, old ladies eating cheesecake in the middle of the night together in crazy nightgowns, Sophia’s stories, Blanche’s southern accent, their utter loyalty to each other – there’s just something very nostalgic about it for me. Comforting. Familiar.
And the show was really progressive. There are episodes focusing on cross-dressing (yes, the terminology is outdated… but the concept of separating queer from being gay was addressed); a two part episode on Chronic Fatigue syndrome, which, at the time, was a myth of a disease; Blanche’s poly sexual character as a whole; Dorothy’s constant rejection of the idea that female = feminine; ageism; disability; sexual discrimination/ harassment; gender equality… and the list goes on and on.
Anyway, the show is wonderful for a million reasons and I’m sad to have lost one of my girls.
So, I spent today sneezing, sipping hot soup, eating toast, fading in and out of sleep, and watching a marathon of Golden Girls, like I do, like I will.
Goodbye, Estelle. And thank you.
(Here are some ‘best of Sophia’ moments. The music in the background might be a little annoying, but the clips are great- enjoy)