‘All in the Family’ Star Jean Stapleton Dies

Credit: Brian Hamill/Getty Images

In 1971, America was introduced to a New York family whose trials, tribulations, and flaws rang all too familiar… albeit with a healthy dose of comedy: the Bunkers, the colorful characters who occupied a working-class New York household on All in the Family. Alongside curmudgeonly Archie, passionate Gloria, and wayfaring Mike, there was Edith: a golden hearted but flighty mother, played to comic perfection by Jean Stapleton. Sadly, CNN reports that 90-year-old Stapleton has passed away, as confirmed by her son.

For nearly a decade, Stapleton exemplified inimitable wit and charm as Edith Bunker, squawking amicably as her husband groused and grimaced, her daughter charged for change, and her son-in-law argued with the lot and scarfed down whatever food Edith brought to the table. Brimming with good nature amid the hostility of her family members, Edith was the heart and soul of the Bunker home and of All in the family, a character that could have easily gone by the wayside were not for the mammoth precision in Stapleton’s performance.

The actress, also a veteran of stage and the big screen, is survived by children John and Pamela Putch.

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Staff editor Michael Arbeiter’s natural state of being can best be described as “mild panic attack.” His earliest memories of growing up in Queens, New York, involve nighttime conversations with a voice from his bedroom wall (the jury’s still out on what that was all about) and a love for classic television that spawned from the very first time he was allowed to watch “The Munsters.” Attending college at SUNY Binghamton, a 20-year-old Michael learned two things: that he could center his future on this love for TV and movies, and that dragons never actually existed — he was kind of late in the game on that one.

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