Jean Stapleton, who was famous for her wonderful role as Archie Bunker’s wife Edith Bunker on “All in the Family”, passed away of natural causes at the age of 90.
Stapleton’s family announced the news of her passing.
Her son and daughter, John Putch and Pamela Putch, said in a statement, “It is with great love and heavy hearts that we say farewell to our collective Mother, with a capital M. Her devotion to her craft and her family taught us all great life lessons.”
Jean Stapleton won three Emmys for her role opposite Carroll O’Connor’s on the popular CBS sitcom.
Stapleton co-starred with Carroll O’Connor in the sitcom about a bigot, the wife he lovingly called “Dingbat”, their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and liberal son-in-law Mike “Meathead” (Rob Reiner).
“All in the Family” rated number one on television for five years in a row.
Jean once said, “I wasn’t a leading lady type. I knew where I belonged. And actually, I found character work much more interesting than leading ladies.”
Stapleton had the chance to offer a deeper take on Edith as the character faced a breast cancer scare and menopause. Jean was proud of the show’s political edge and take on controversial topics of the time.
Jean Stapleton earned Emmy nominations for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 film “Eleanor, First Lady of the World” and for a guest appearance in 1995 on “Grace Under Fire”.
Her movies included the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic film “You’ve Got Mail” and 1996’s “Michael” starring John Travolta.
The theater was her first love and she starred in many musicals and plays.
Stapleton was born in New York City to Joseph Murray and his wife, Marie Stapleton Murray, a singer. She attended Hunter College, leaving for a secretarial stint before embarking on acting studies with the American Theatre Wing and others.
She is survived by her two children with her husband William Putch, whom she married in 1957 and who died in 1983.
Her children wrote in her obituary, “In her own words, she was an ‘actress, not a celebrity. The play always came first.”
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