Best known to the gay community for her role of Sophia on The Golden Girls ("Picture it. Sicily. 1923"), Getty also starred in the original Broadway production of Harvey Fierstein's TORCH SONG TRILOGY (a role that went to Anne Bancroft in the film version).
Getty - a strong supporter of LGBT rights - often made appearances at LGBT functions, and had been the one in her family to take care of her nephew, who passed of AIDS in 1991.
She suffered from Lewy Body Disesase, which has symptoms similar to both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, where neuron deterioration leads to brain shrinkage and loss of cognitive ability and motor functions.
Getty won both the Golden Globe and the Emmy for her portrayal of Sophia in The Golden Girls, and when that show started syndication a few years back on Lifetime, it had the highest ratings ever for the network. She is survived by two son, and her sister and brother.
With Fisher Stevens and Harvey Fierstein in the original Broadway production of TORCH SONG TRILOGY (which also starred Matthew Broderick).