Vale: Jean Stapleton

By David Knox on June 3, 2013 / Filed Under News 4

2013-06-02_1954Jean Stapleton, best known as Archie Bunker’s long suffering wife Edith on All in the Family, has died aged 90.

Stapleton died in New York of natural causes.

She won three Emmys as Edith Bunker

The sitcom ran from 1971 to 1979, and Stapleton’s character faced things that virtually no TV show had portrayed before, including going through menopause, nearly being raped and finding a lump in her breast during a time when breast cancer was never discussed.

Nearly 50 Shen she was cast by writer Norman Lear, Stapleton had already worked onstage and in film and television for years.

Lear wrote of passing in part, “This will be short and sweet. Never as sweet as I’d wish it to be if I took a month to write it. I only just learned that Jean Stapleton, our beloved Edith — or Edith, our beloved Jean Stapleton– has passed. Back in 1971, possibly the first time I was asked by a journalist ‘What is Jean Stapleton like, my reflexive response was: ‘She’s always where she is.’ I was surprised by my answer, never had the thought before and never knew it resided within me. Can I reach deeply enough inside me now to express how much that, the idea and Jean Stapleton herself has meant to me?”

Rob Reiner, who played her son-in-law said in a statement, “She was a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing. Working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

She also had roles on Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Faerie Tale Theater, Touched By an Angel, Route 66, My Three Sons, The Patty Duke Show Dennis the Menace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Eleanor, First Lady of the World and Grace Under Fire.

After All in the Family ended, she segued to spinoff Archie Bunker’s Place, but didn’t want to continue after the first season.

Source: Variety

4 Comments »

  1. daveinprogress June 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm -

    There goes a great American actress. Indelible impact as Edith Bunker. Part of the tv landscape.
    She lived a long and prosperous life.

  2. David Knox June 3, 2013 at 11:20 am -

    I don’t agree. The whole series was issue-based: mainly over racism. The scene where Edith was practically raped was chilling stuff and showed her acting range. And what about that voice!

  3. muscledude_oz June 3, 2013 at 10:48 am -

    I watched All In the Family as a teenager in the 1970s and I found it to be a frustrating show. Sure it occasionally had laughs but there were also episodes where we were served up half an hour of “issues”. And those episodes invariably left a sour taste and had me shaking my head and wondering “why”?

    For example there was an episode where Archie opened his front door and there was a swastika painted on it. A fellow named Paul from a so-called vigilante group was then on the doorstep and a debate ensued about gaining retribution, with a gang responsible for targeting homes. At the end of the episode Paul leaves then we hear an explosion. Archie opens the door and says “That’s Paul. They blew him up in his car”.

    I realise the show was American but it didn’t travel well like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Happy Days, Good Times and the other US sitcoms of the era.

  4. djay June 3, 2013 at 9:56 am -

    A great lady and a great talent.
    I fondly remember her as Emily Farnsworth on Scarecrow and Mrs King
    God Bless.

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