All in the Family‘s star Jean Stapleton has died at the age of 90. She died in her home in New York City on June 1, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Stapleton was most famous for her portrayal as Edith Bunker on the 1970s sitcom.
CNN quoted Stapleton’s son, John Putch as saying she “passed away peacefully of natural causes…surrounded by friends and her immediate family.”
Entertainment Weekly states creator, producer and director of All in the Family Norman Lear originally envisioned Edith to be a “tart voice of truth meant to put her bigoted husband Archie in his place.” On her death, Lear said, “No one gave more profound ‘how to be a human being’ lessons than Jean Stapleton.”
Stapleton grew up in New York City and began her career in theater during the early 1940s. Her first broadway show was In the Summer House, which ran in 1953. CNN accounts her television debut that same year to Woman With a Past, a drama which aired during the day.
The impact of All in the Family was massive, as it was groundbreaking on a number of issues including “racism, sexuality, life and death,” as reported by CNN. Stapleton’s performance was award-worthy, as she was nominated for eight Emmy awards and walked away with three.
CNN reported people who worked with Stapleton have been sharing their memories and praise for the veteran actress. Rob Reiner, who played ‘Meathead’ on All in the Family said, “Jean was a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing…working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Actress Roseanne Barr tweeted , “RIP Jean Stapleton, a great actor whose range was unbelievable, deep and majestic.”
Stapleton was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2002 for her work.