All in the Family's Jean Stapleton Dead at 90
Veteran 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.