Jean Stapleton, the actress best known for her role as Archie Bunker’s wife Edith in the groundbreaking 1970s television series “All in the Family” died of natural causes at her home in New York City on Friday. She was 90.
Stapleton’s son, John Putch, confirmed his mother’s death to ABC News.
“Being the children of a beloved Mother on Television means sharing the spirit of who JEAN STAPLETON was with her friends and fans. It is with great love and heavy hearts that we say farewell to our collective Mother, with a capital M. Her devotion to her craft and her family taught us all great life lessons,” John Putch and his sister Pamela Putch said in a statement released today.
Despite a successful acting career, Stapleton did not attain fame until she was nearly 50 years old when she took on the role of “dingbat” Edith Bunker, softening Carroll O’Connor’s bigoted, brash Archie in the CBS series produced by Norman Lear. Stapleton won three Emmys for her portrayal.
“The benign, compassionate presence she developed made my egregious churl bearable,” O’Connor wrote of Stapleton in his 1998 autobiography.
When the series wrapped in 1979, Stapleton moved on to new roles in television and in film, most notably for her portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt in 1982′s “Eleanor, First Lady of the World,” for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Stapleton was married to William Putch, a producer/director of the Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayetteville, Pa., where she appeared for many season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He died in 1993.
Stapleton is survived by her daughter, Pamela Putch, and her son, John Putch.