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June 1, 2013 2:17 PM   Subscribe

The wonderful Jean Stapleton, has passed away at age 90.

Good Night Edith.
posted by timsteil (86 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great....
posted by tzikeh at 2:19 PM on June 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


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posted by drowsy at 2:20 PM on June 1, 2013


Nice find of the Cold Turkey clip.

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posted by benito.strauss at 2:21 PM on June 1, 2013


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One of Jean Stapleton's many accomplishments was her work to build and support a summer stock theater in south-central Pennsylvania, the Totem Pole Playhouse. My in-laws own a cabin right across the road from that playhouse, which is how I came to know of it. In any case, it shows her dedication to the art, even after she had the fame. Good actress, good lady.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:26 PM on June 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Very sad. I met her about 10 or 11 years ago at a Tony Awards brunch. She was an incredibly nice woman and an enormous talent.

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posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:27 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 2:27 PM on June 1, 2013


I have to think that any actor would consider it their finest achievement to bring so much humanity to a role that could so easily have been only a shrill caricature.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [28 favorites]


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posted by ronofthedead at 2:30 PM on June 1, 2013


On one hand, I was surprised how sad this news made me. On the other, as a kid, I thought she died when Edith Bunker died, so I've spent the last 30 years or so being pleasantly reminded she was still with us.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:31 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


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posted by h0p3y at 2:37 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by lord_wolf at 2:37 PM on June 1, 2013


HImself just mentioned to me yesterday (!) that she was still alive. How sad I am to tell him otherwise.

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posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 2:43 PM on June 1, 2013


A tremendous talent. I'm happy she was able to share it with us for so long.
posted by rtha at 2:44 PM on June 1, 2013


Archie will be glad to see her.

(timstell, nicely done)
posted by HuronBob at 2:47 PM on June 1, 2013


Those were the days...

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posted by jim in austin at 2:49 PM on June 1, 2013


Ω
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:50 PM on June 1, 2013


Thanks for the laughs Jean

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posted by a3matrix at 2:53 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by xingcat at 2:54 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by 1367 at 3:05 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by radwolf76 at 3:05 PM on June 1, 2013


Edith Bunker is the one impersonation I can do well enough to generally always get a decent laugh.

In the mid-80s I went with my family to see a revival of "Arsenic and Old Lace" in San Francisco, starring Jean Stapleton, Marion Ross and Gary Sandy. Although I wasn't a huge fan of theater, I was an All-Star couch potato, so I was extremely star-struck being in the same building as Edith Bunker and Mrs. C (although very disappointed to discover that Jean Stapleton's voice didn't really sound like Edith's)
posted by The Gooch at 3:12 PM on June 1, 2013


* another star winked out.
posted by Cranberry at 3:21 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by michellenoel at 3:33 PM on June 1, 2013


:( She was wonderful as Edith.

During the 8th season of the show, there was a two parter called "Edith's 50th Birthday" where she has to deal with a rapist. The first part of the episode is not on youtube. (A clip can be seen here, but it's terrible quality). The second part is, where she deals with the aftermath of the assault and refuses to press charges against him. The show aired in 1977 and was apparently one of the first on television to portray an attempted rape.

Other videos:

Here she is on the Muppet Show.

Clips of her TV Legends interview from the Archive of American Television. (Around 14 minutes worth)

An Ivory Snow commercial with her from the 1950's.

And the last time she appeared in an interview with Carol O'Connor, in 2000.

May she rest in peace.

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posted by zarq at 3:38 PM on June 1, 2013 [18 favorites]


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posted by scody at 3:42 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by AtalantaPendragonne at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2013


Oh my goodness! Instant sadness at this news. She was a major part of my childhood, and on rewatching All In The Family recently, now that I'm in my 40s and had not really seen it since it was in first run, I was struck by how deep and groundbreaking the show was. Everyone involved is one of my heroes for the work they did to change culture for the better.

I saw her in several other things, but Edith Bunker is how I remember her best.

Thank you, and good night, Edith.

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posted by hippybear at 3:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by SisterHavana at 3:47 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by tommasz at 3:49 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by jquinby at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Countess Elena at 4:06 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by lordrunningclam at 4:11 PM on June 1, 2013


I'm crying about this one. What a marvelous woman.

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posted by Mittenz at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2013


My family watched every week while I was growing up.


posted by dhartung at 4:13 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


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When I had to sing crazy high (and sound a bit crazy) for a Fringe show, I just imagined I was her singing the theme song to AITF - and now it's in my head again.
posted by jb at 4:21 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Ber at 4:22 PM on June 1, 2013


All in the Family was in its heyday when I was just a little too young to appreciate it. Mom would excitedly call up the stairs, "Hey kids, ARCHIE'S ONNN!" and I would go tearing down, looking for Archie, Jughead, Veronica and Betty. It probably took me 2 months to learn that all I was going to get was a bunch of quarrelsome old people.

When I did start watching, it was an entryway into the true lives of adults. Edith was the focal point for the complexities of relationship-how you choose, how you fight, how you stay.

Jean Stapleton was wonderful.

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posted by SLC Mom at 4:28 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


For the kids: All in the Family was groundbreaking. In the early seventies, TV shows just didn't talk about certain things. Remember, shortly before this, the Dick Van Dyke show had to have Laura and Rob Petrie sleeping in separate twin beds. All in the Family addressed the Viet Nam War, racial tensions and other things that no other show would dare to approach. When Edith went through menopause (and told Archie to "Stifle" [I still remember the shock]) it had not been addressed before on TV. Kudos to Norman Lear for the courage of his convictions and his casting of two very fine actors as the leads.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:29 PM on June 1, 2013 [10 favorites]


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posted by klausness at 4:42 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by dougzilla at 4:43 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Renoroc at 4:45 PM on June 1, 2013


When I was a little kid, I wanted Edith Bunker for my Grandma. 90 years is a good run.

Sleep sweet, Jean. You'll be very much missed.
posted by MissySedai at 4:51 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Sys Rq at 4:56 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2013


Since we got rid of satellite tv and installed an antenna, we've been casually re-watching some of these 70s shows. Seen from this vantage point, All in The Family is startlingly radical. And Edith is the most subversive one of the bunch.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 5:00 PM on June 1, 2013


Long run, good rest.

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posted by Mooski at 5:04 PM on June 1, 2013


M.A.S.H. and All In The Family - television just never got much better then these gems, IMO.

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posted by dbiedny at 5:04 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


And Edith is the most subversive one of the bunch.

You know, that's true. Whenever there was Archie arguing one way, and Mike arguing the other way, there in the middle would be Edith, just naturally doing the right thing, not out of any sort of strident political conviction, but because she was just a genuinely good person.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:11 PM on June 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Loved her.

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(Lord, please don't take Cloris Leachman this year. I just started watching Raising Hope.)
posted by discopolo at 5:12 PM on June 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by quazichimp at 5:14 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Anitanola at 5:16 PM on June 1, 2013


Season 2 Episode 12 Cousin Maude's first visit.

(I am sure there are better episodes but this is the best one I can think of offhand.)
posted by bukvich at 5:28 PM on June 1, 2013


Here's a short interview from 1994 on the Larry King Show.
posted by HuronBob at 5:35 PM on June 1, 2013


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I wish they'd reissue the rest of the Maude seasons.
posted by brujita at 5:46 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, dammit, Edit'
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posted by Fibognocchi at 5:53 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by oneswellfoop at 6:23 PM on June 1, 2013


Dancing to Heaven (From Michael). Farewell, Jean!
posted by kira at 7:00 PM on June 1, 2013



Way back before Tivos and VCRs - when TV had no pause button, and if you missed it you had to wait for the re-runs - children were expected to be quiet during certain TV shows.

All in the Family was one of those shows. I didn't really grasp how or why this show was so groundbreaking when it was on, but the opening song and many of the tropes are burned into my memories.

. For Jean.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:12 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by fatbaq at 7:18 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by JoeZydeco at 7:22 PM on June 1, 2013


She reminded me of my mother-in-law, coincidentally also named Edith.

RIP, funny lady.
posted by jonmc at 7:23 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by cazoo at 7:26 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by coldhotel at 8:05 PM on June 1, 2013


Those were the days. Thanks, Jean.
posted by Lynsey at 8:36 PM on June 1, 2013


Glamming it up

Whatta gal.

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posted by hap_hazard at 9:00 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 9:01 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by bananafish at 9:05 PM on June 1, 2013


My favorite character in AITF. I remember the serious episodes were all the more striking in contrast to her usual comic brilliance.

I was pleasantly surprised to see her a few years after she left that show in Damn Yankees, which she'd made over a decade earlier.

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posted by the sobsister at 9:06 PM on June 1, 2013


I came here to pay my respects and also mention the Totem Pole Playhouse, which I thought people might not have heard about... but I should have expected that someone from MetaFilter would hang out at a place just across the road. Stapleton did an excellent job out of the limelight with the Totem Pole, and of course a remarkable job in the limelight as well.

I often think about her performance in the AITF episode about her 30th high school reunion — especially the show's ending.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:32 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by scottymac at 9:39 PM on June 1, 2013


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This is my internet impression of an Edith Bunker double-take:

o_o oh.

o_O ...

O_O ohhhhhhhh...!
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


I saw a rerun recently of an episode where Edith had started volunteering at the hospital, to have something to do now that Gloria and Michael had moved out. Archie was none too pleased at her not being around enough to have his dinner ready on time, and they argue - and for the first time, SHE's the one who storms out and slams the front door. All these decades later, it STILL took my breath away. I could still hear the echoes of that 1970s audience who all collectively gasped in shock and awe at that moment.

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posted by dnash at 9:45 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seriously, folks, just watch this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX6bgv_FL4E

"Well will you kindly volunteer to get dinner on that table???"

"No. I ain't gettin' dinner on the table until you TAKE THAT BACK!"
posted by dnash at 9:54 PM on June 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.

--- Arthur Miller, "Death of a Salesman."
posted by SPrintF at 10:16 PM on June 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


This show was what it was only because of four very gifted actors, two of whom are now gone.

One of the best scenes in the show's run: Edith going through menopause
posted by evilcolonel at 10:33 PM on June 1, 2013


My mom was her doppelganger, and on more than a few occasions acted pretty Edithlike herself. This just brings up all the feelings of missing my mom again -- she adored Jean Stapleton and Edith Bunker.
posted by emcat8 at 11:31 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Ink-stained wretch at 11:31 PM on June 1, 2013


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posted by Quasimike at 11:41 PM on June 1, 2013


Oh Aa-archie!

Too sad. Thanks for everything, Jean.

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posted by trip and a half at 12:53 AM on June 2, 2013


I bought my father a 'Dingbats United' poster that had Jean's kooky Edith expression on her face. She was amazing.
posted by uraniumwilly at 5:40 AM on June 2, 2013


I was actually watching her on-screen in "You've Got Mail" as I read this news. So sad.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 5:56 AM on June 2, 2013


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posted by Michele in California at 7:06 AM on June 2, 2013


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posted by Gelatin at 8:06 AM on June 2, 2013


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posted by theora55 at 7:17 PM on June 2, 2013


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posted by Melismata at 4:50 AM on June 3, 2013


I didn't know joy until I saw this picture:

Jean Stapleton and Alice Cooper
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:06 PM on June 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


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