Jean Stapleton, the 70's TV icon who played Archie Bunker's wife Edith in the series "All in the Family," died yesterday of natural causes at the age of 90.
Character actress Stapleton won three Emmys for her work on the ground-breaking show "All in the Family." The character of Edith was so complex, yet sometimes was made fun of, because she wasn't the sharpest tool and had such an innocent outlook on life. But Edith was also wise beyond her years, and most of the Bunkers everyday life problems were solved because of her input. As we watched "All in the Family", we witnessed Edith's metamorphosis from a dominated housewife to a woman in her own right.
She was nominated for two additional Emmy awards for portraying Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 CBS film "Eleanor, First Lady of the World," and as Aunt Vivian on the ABC series "Grace Under Fire." Stapleton was last seen on screen in the 1998 movie "You've Got Mail" as Meg Ryan's co-worker.
While most people will remember her as Edith Bunker, I will remember her from her role in the final scene of the movie Michael, where she and John Travolta danced through the streets and disappeared into the night sky as two bright stars.
Stapleton is survived by her children -- TV producer Pamela Putch and film and TV director John Putch, notes the L.A. Times. The voice of nails scratching on a chalkboard that made America laugh will be missed, but Edith and Archie are finally together again.
Those were the days....
Jean Stapleton 1923-2013