I loved “The Golden Girls” when it first aired and I love watching the series all over again on Hulu. It was one of the most well-written sit-coms that I’ve ever seen. While I adored Bea Arthur’s tough Dorothy Zbornak, Rue McClanahan’s slutty Southern Belle Blanche Deaveraux, and Betty White’s genial dimwit Rose Nylund, my favorite character out of all of them was Estelle Getty’s cantankerous, yet wise Sophia Petrillo. If you liked Sophia, this video is for you.
Sophia was Dorothy’s mother. As Dorothy once said when introducing her to an acquaintance, “You’ll have to excuse my mother. She survived a slight stroke which left her, if I might be frank, a complete burden” (sarcasm of course!) That lack of filter led to Sophia having the best lines in the show.
What made this show so great, as you can see from this rapid-fire compilation of some of her best lines, is that they made her feel like a real person. She wasn’t just a caricature of the stereotypical Italian mother. She’d had hopes and dreams and a family history that included having a son that was a cross-dresser. Getty was perfect at this role… and the funny thing was that she was actually younger than Arthur, McClanahan, and White – it took a lot of makeup to age her to an 80-something.
The show ran for seven seasons, so it was nearly impossible for the person who compiled this to get every single Sophia-ism, but it’s a darn good representative of what the character was like. It’s too bad Getty, along with Arthur and McClanahan, isn’t alive to be part of this Golden Girls reboot that’s coming up. It would have been great to see Getty, as Sophia, sitting at a table again, telling us to “Picture it: Sicily, 1922…”
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