‘All in the Family’s’ Edith Bunker … Jean Stapleton Dies at Age 90 … Edith and Archie Bunker Reunited in Heaven, Rest in Peace
Edith Bunker dead at age 90.
Emmy award winning actress Jean Stapleton, who is best known for her role as Archie Bunker’s wife Edith in the long-running 1970′s television series “All in the Family,” died Friday at her New York City home at the age of 90. According to reports she died of natural causes. She is survived by her son, John Putch, and her daughter, television producer Pamela Putch. Her husband, William Putch, died in 1983.
How very, very sad. How I loved ‘All in the Family’. Carol O’Conner and Jean Stapleton were a perfect match. Stapleton appeared in “All In The Family,” one of the greatest comedy shows of all time, from 1971 to 1979. Although Jean Stapleton, Edith Bunker, played the submission wife to Archie who was constantly told to “stifle” and called a “ding-bat,” her heart was huge and her submissive, not so bright nature was only to a point. Her rye sense of humor was fantastic. However, there was an unselfish love between Edith and Archie, where she could see more in him than just a loud mouth bigot. The Normal Lear comedy was ground breaking an spun off other great shows like ‘The Jefferson’s’ and ‘Maud”. Carol O’Conner passed away on June 21, 2001.
Those were the days … they certainly were.
All in the Family Theme song - the late Carol O’Conner and Jean Stapleton
From the LA Times:
She had been a veteran of stage, film and television when she was cast in the CBS sitcom opposite Carroll O’Connor’s loud-mouthed, bigoted Archie Bunker, who often addressed her as “dingbat.” She won three Emmys for the role.
“The benign, compassionate presence she developed made my egregious churl bearable,” O’Connor wrote of Stapleton in his 1998 autobiography. He died in 2001.
Born in New York City on Jan. 19, 1923, Stapleton was the daughter of a billboard advertising salesman and an opera singer.
Jeanne Murray was born in Manhattan on Jan. 19, 1923. Her father, Joseph, was an advertising salesman; her mother, Marie Stapleton, was a concert and opera singer, and music was very much a part of her young life. Young Jeanne was a singer as well, which might be surprising to those who knew Ms. Stapleton only from “All in the Family,” which opened every week with Edith and Archie singing the song “Those Were the Days.” Ms. Stapleton’s screechy half of the duet was all Edith; the actress herself had a long history of charming musical performances. She was in the original casts of “Bells Are Ringing” and “Damn Yankees” on Broadway in the 1950s, and “Funny Girl,” with Barbra Streisand, in the 1960s, in which she sang “If a Girl Isn’t Pretty” and “Find Yourself a Man.” Off Broadway in 1991, she played Julia Child, singing the recipe for chocolate cake in the mini-musical “Bon Appétit.” On television, she sang with the Muppets.
“All in the Family” was Ms. Stapleton’s first television series, but before that she appeared as a guest on several shows, including “Dr. Kildare,” with Richard Chamberlain, “My Three Sons,” “Car 54, Where Are You?” and the courtroom drama “The Defenders,” starring E.G. Marshall, in which she played the owner of a boarding house who accused one of her tenants — played by Mr. O’Connor — of murder.
UPDATE I: Ann Althouse has a fantastic, must see VIDEO of an interview with Jean Stapleton from 2000. Stapleton talks about her entire career, including the first time she met Carol O’Conner and her later role as Edith Bunker providing zingers at Archie. that broke his “hot air” and “burst his bubble”.