June 03, 2013 06:05:08 GMT
The actress famous for her role as Edith Bunker is remembered by friends and colleagues including her on-screen son-in-law Rob Reiner and fellow TV veteran Roseanne Barr.
Jean Stapleton passed away surrounded by her family Friday, May 31 at her home in New York City. The actress who starred on CBS' 1970s groundbreaking series "All in the Family" died of natural cause, her family confirms to The Associated Press.
Stapleton was 90. She is survived by two children, TV producer Pamela and TV director John, and several grandchildren. Her husband William Putch, whom she married in the late 1950s, died in 1983.
"All in the Family" series creator Norman Lear said in a statement Saturday upon hearing of her passing, "No one gave more profound 'How to be a Human Being' lessons than Jean Stapleton. Goodbye Edith, darling."
Her on-screen son-in-law Rob Reiner remembered the late star as "a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing." He gushed, "Working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My thoughts go out to her family."
Fellow TV veteran Roseanne Barr tweeted her condolences, "RIP Jean Stapleton," calling Stapleton "a great actor whose range was unbelievable, deep and majestic."
The daughter of an opera singer and businessman, Stapleton began her acting career in theater in the early 1940s while working as a typist for the British War Ministry Office. She made it to Broadway starring in 1953's production "In the Summer House". It wasn't until 1970s when she played in "All in the Family", her first TV series, that she gained game and recognition.
Stapleton played Edith, the wife of hot-headed Archie Bunker portrayed by Carroll O'Connor. She scored eight Emmy nominations and won three times during her eight-year tenure in "All in the Family". The show itself won four consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding comedy series and became the No. 1-rated program for an unprecedented five years in a row.
"What Edith represents is the housewife who is still in bondage to the male figure, very submissive and restricted to the home. She is very naive, and she kind of thinks through a mist, and she lacks the education to expand her world. I would hope that most housewives are not like that," she once said of her character who regularly obeyed her husband's demand to "stifle yourself."
Aside from getting Emmy nods from "All in the Family", Stapleton also earned Emmy nominations for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 film "Eleanor, First Lady of the World" and for a guest appearance on "Grace Under Fire". She eventually left the CBS show and her character was written off as dying of a stroke.