- Posted On September 16, 2019
NEW YORK — Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker’s far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV’s groundbreaking 1970s comedy “All in the Family,” has died. She was 90.Stapleton died Friday of natural causes at her New York City home surrounded by friends and family, her son, John Putch, said Saturday.Little known to the public before “All In the Family,” she co-starred with Carroll O’Connor in the top-rated CBS sitcom about an unrepentant bigot, the wife he churlishly but fondly called “Dingbat,” their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and liberal son-in-law Mike, aka Meathead (Rob Reiner).Stapleton received eight Emmy nominations and won three times during her eight-year tenure with “All in the Family.” Produced by Norman Lear, the series broke through the timidity of U.S. TV with social and political jabs and ranked as the No. 1-rated program for an unprecedented five years in a row. Lear would go on to create a run of socially-conscious sitcoms.Stapleton also earned Emmy nominations for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 film “Eleanor, First Lady of the World” and for a guest appearance in 1995 on “Grace Under Fire.”Her big-screen films included a pair directed by Nora Ephron: the 1998 Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romance “You’ve Got Mail” and 1996’s “Michael” starring John Travolta. She also turned down the chance to star in another popular sitcom, “Murder, She Wrote,” which became a showcase for Angela Lansbury.