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.