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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Remembering Jean Stapleton 1923 - 2013

Actress Jean Stapleton, who died Friday at age 90, will always be known for her brilliant portrayal of Edith Bunker on All in the Family, which aired on CBS from 1971 to 1979 (she also made a few appearances on the spin-off series, Archie Bunker's Place, before Edith's off-screen death in 1980). Stapleton won three Emmys and two Golden Globes for her performance on the sitcom.

Her film credits include Damn Yankees (1958), Bells Are Ringing (1960), Up the Down Staircase (1967), Cold Turkey (1971), Klute (1971), Michael (1996) and You've Got Mail (1998). She also starred in the 1979 TV adaptation of the play, You Can't Take It with You; a 1982 cable TV production of the musical, Something's Afoot, with Andy Gibb; the 1982 TV movie, Eleanor, First Lady of the World (for which she was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance as Eleanor Roosevelt); and the 1990-91 CBS sitcom, Bagdad Cafe, with Whoopi Goldberg. And she appeared in the original Broadway productions of Damn Yankees (1955), Bells Are Ringing (1956), Juno (1959) and Funny Girl (1964) as well as the 1986 revival of Arsenic and Old Lace.

Below are some videos I've selected to celebrate Jean Stapleton's life and career.

An Ivory Snow detergent commercial from the 1950s.

All in the Family featuring the 1971 episode, "Edith's Accident".

The Muppet Show episode from June 8, 1976.

Eleanor, First Lady of the World (1982)

Her and Carroll O'Connor's last appearance together on the talk show, Donny & Marie, on April 24, 2000.

Selections from her Archive of American Television interview on November 28, 2000.


joel65913 said...

So many wonderful performances. Even being familiar with her other work it could be a little jarring at first when you'd see her as herself with the cultured voice and dignified carriage.

I remember a terrific TV film, Angel Dusted, she did with Arthur Hill and her own son John Putch playing her son who they discover has a severe drug problem at a time when such things were not discussed openly. Wish they'd run it now it had beautiful performances, I think Helen Hunt played the daughter.

Marc said...

Thanks for your commment, Joel! Helen Hunt was in the 1981 TV movie, Angel Dusted, which is available on DVD-R as part of the Warner Bros. Archive Collection.

Anonymous said...

I have a very vivid memory of her in the hospital waiting room and picking up a copy of Play Girl. Dark hair and eyes, hairy chest and a 70's porn stache - explains so much about my taste in men.

Marc said...

Hey, Sean, here's a link to that funny "Playgirl" scene:

dmappin said...

Jean also made a fun appearance on CBS' "Scarecrow and Mrs. King." I loved Jean... any performance from her was well worth watching! Always!

Marc said...

I agree, Doug. Thanks for your comment.