Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 19: “All in the Family’s” Edith Bunker, Jean Stapleton, was born on this date in 1923…

… she died on May 31, 2013 at the age of 90From natural causes in New York City.  

Jeanne Murray Stapleton was born in New York City on January 19, 1923. After attending Hunter College, At age 18, she began her career in 1941 in summer stock and made her New York debut in American Gothic, an Off-Broadway play. She was featured on Broadway in several hit musicals, such as Damn Yankees, Funny Girl, Bells Are Ringing, and Juno.

Jeanne guest starred in many television series, including the role of Rosa Criley in the 1963 episode "The Bride Wore Pink" on NBC's medical drama about psychiatry, The Eleventh Hour. Her early work on television included roles in Starlight Theatre, Robert Montgomery Presents, Lux Video Theater, Woman with a Past, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, Dr. Kildare, The Patty Duke Show, Car 54 Where Are You?, Dennis the Menace, and Naked City.

On an episode of The Defenders broadcast on 1 December 1962, Stapleton guest-starred with future television husband Carroll O'Connor.

Of course, Stapleton was best known for her portrayal of Edith Bunker on the 1970s situation comedy All in the Family; portraying, the long-suffering, yet devoted wife of Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O'Connor. Stapleton was also seen occasionally on the All in the Family follow-up series, Archie Bunker's Place, but, tired of the role, asked to be written out after the first season.

Stapleton won three Emmys and two Golden Globes for All in the Family. She was offered a role in the feature film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as Mrs. Teevee, but declined because it coincided with the production of the All in the Family pilot.

In 1982, Stapleton portrayed Eleanor Roosevelt in a television production of the First Lady's later life. In 1998, and for a few years afterward, Stapleton took her "Eleanor" characterization to live theaters, now adapted as a one-woman show.


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