News

Remembering Jean Stapleton and her ties to the midstate

Written by witf and The Associated Press | Jun 4, 2013 1:27 PM
jean-stapleton.jpg

Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor as Edith and Archie Bunker from the television program "All In the Family." This photo is in the Public Domain.

(Undated) -- Norman Lear, who produced the groundbreaking, 1970s TV comedy "All in the Family says "No one gave more profound 'How to be a Human Being' lessons than Jean Stapleton."

John Putch says his mother, who played Edith Bunker in the series, died Friday of natural causes at her New York City home surrounded by friends and family. She was 90.

The stage-trained actress co-starred with Carroll O'Connor in the series about an unrepentant bigot, the wife he called "Dingbat," their daughter and liberal son-in-law.

Rob Reiner, who played the son-in-law, says Stapleton "was a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing. Working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life."

She received eight Emmy nominations and won three awards during her eight-year run with "All in the Family." The CBS series ranked as the No. 1-rated program for an unprecedented five years in a row.

Stapleton had a number of connections to central Pennsylvania. She performed regularly at the Totem Pole Playhouse in Caledonia State Park for over 20 years and lived in Franklin County. During her time at the Totem Pole Playhouse, she appeared in "Brigadoon," "Oklahoma!" and "South Pacific," among other shows.  She was married to William Putch, who died in 1983, for 30 years. Putch directed a summer stock theater at Totem Pole.  

Stapleton was also featured on "Adventure in the Arts," a witf original production. View a clip from the show featuring Stapleton below.

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