Jean Stapleton in 1977. (Jeff Taylor / AP) Jean Stapleton in 1977. (Jeff Taylor / AP)


“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.”


Jean Stapleton sharing her deep character analysis of her most famous role, “All in the Family’s” Edith Bunker, with the New York Times in 1972. Yet the Emmy winner never condescended to her character, imbuing dithery Edith with impeccable comic timing and an endearing humanity. Often asked whether Edith would support the Equal Rights Amendment, she once told an audience “of course. . . because it is a matter of simple justice — and Edith is the soul of justice.” The TV icon died Friday and her obituary is worth your time: Jean Stapleton, TV’s beloved Edith Bunker from ‘All in the Family’ dies at 90 in NYC

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