All in the Family's Jean Stapleton Dead at 90

Jean Stapleton Dead at 90Veteran actress Jean Stapleton, a three-time Emmy winner for her iconic portrayal of All in the Family‘s Edith Bunker, passed away at her New York City home on Friday, from natural causes, the Los Angeles Times reports.  She was 90.

Stapleton’s television career began in the 1950s, with appearances on Starlight Theatre, Lux Video Theatre and The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse. She went on to guest-star on several series, including Dennis the Menace, Dr. Kildare, Car 54 Where Are You? and My Three Sons, before settling into the role of outspoken, unapologetic bigot Archie Bunker’s wife in CBS’ All in the Family, which premiered in 1971 and ran for nine seasons.

All told, Stapleton amassed 10 Emmy nods just for All in the Family, converting three times, while going 2-for-7 at the Golden Globes. Here, in but one example of her memorable line delivery and impeccable comic timing, Edith relates a story of how she got into a car accident at the supermarket… even though she doesn’t drive or own a car:

Stapleton followed TV husband Carrol O’Connor onto the follow-up series, Archie Bunker’s Place, for just five episodes in 1979 before deciding to bid the role of Edith adieu. In the show’s Season 2 premiere, it was established that her character had died of a stroke (watch video).

After her run as Edith, Stapleton guested on such shows as Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Bagdad Cafe, Caroline in the City and the kiddie series Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (in the title role). Her most recent TV credits included 1996 episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond and Murphy Brown (as Nana Silverberg), and Touched By an Angel (in 2000).

On the big screen, she most recently played a bookstore coworker of Meg Ryan’s in You’ve Got Mail.

Stapleton is survived by her two children, TV producer Pamela Putch and director John Putch.

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16 Comments
  1. Tori says:

    I love her always, thanks to her amazing talents.She was a part of my growing up in her role as Edith Bunker. To this day I catch episodes on cable and smile at the memories that I will always treasure.

  2. Ellen says:

    Rest in Peace Jean Stapleton. Edith Bunker was a wonderful, unforgettable character.

  3. Yoki says:

    Please keep us updated on any AITF marathons

  4. K. says:

    Sad, Archie’s dingbat has went to Heaven.. Rest in Peace….

  5. Paul says:

    Great childhood memories . Rest in peace Jean !

  6. Jenna says:

    Aw, I loved Edith Bunker. RIP Ms. Stapleton.

  7. TV Gord says:

    I’ve been watching her all day since I first heard. Not just episodes of All In The Family, but her guest appearances on shows such as Everybody Loves Raymond and Car 54, Where Are You? (for which she received no credit). Tonight, I’m going to settle in and watch one of my favorite movies, Norman Lear’s hilarious big screen attempt Cold Turkey.

    I’ve loved her since she created Edith Bunker, and I’m going to miss her, but she had a nice long and mostly healthy life, so this weekend is all about celebrating her.

  8. Angela says:

    Very sad news. She was such a sweet woman with a warm attitude and that shone through in her portrayal of Edith Bunker. May she rest in peace.

  9. Dee says:

    Now that I’ve seen some of the clips being posted pretty much everywhere, I am a sobbing mess, having grown up watching her show.

    Loved Edith Bunker. She always (unwittingly) brought down Archie a peg (or ten) down.

    Nice that she lived a grand life.

  10. TV Gord says:

    One of the most hilarious lines she ever delivered was when Archie was criticizing Mike and Gloria for their public displays of affection. He said, “You don’t see me coming home and slobbering all over your mother”,

    Edith chimed in with, “That’s right, Gloria. You’re father was never much of a slobberer. He’s more of a pecker!”

    God, I loved her!

  11. pakegler says:

    I remember going to the Totem Pole Playhouse when Jean and Bill Putch owned it. So many great summer stock shows and so many celebrities. The playhouse has announced that the remainder of this summer’s season will be dedicated to Jean.

  12. Mare says:

    RIP, Jean! Edith was always my favorite on All In the Family. And I loved her in “You’ve Got Mail!”

  13. BGD says:

    Those were the DAAAAAAYYYS!!!

  14. Columbus says:

    Wonderful actress…ground-breaking show which helped to change America. Major accomplishments in the theater as well. RIP…

  15. graduatedan says:

    I always felt that Edith was an extended member of my family; a distant relative who comes to visit you every Saturday . It says something about Jean Stapleton’s talents and the enduring appeal of All in the Family .Those were, indeed, the days.

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