Jean Stapleton, America’s most beloved “dingbat,” has died of naturlal causes at the age of 90.
Stapleton famously and skillfully played the long-suffering Edith Bunker of CBS’ hit 1970s show “All in the Family.”
Archie Bunker, played by Carroll O’Connor, repeatedly and rathe mercilessly criticized and mocked his ever-loving and loyal wife on the show. His favorite term for her was “dingbat,” which entered the American lexicon, more a s a sign of endearment than scorn.
But we saw how strong Edith Bunker was when she stood by her foul-mouthed husband, knowing he really loved her.
Edith Bunker also experienced many serious women’s issues out in the open.
Stapleton’s sensitive portrayals brought the taboo TV subjects of menopause and a lump in the breast into people’s lives and made it easier for families to discuss them.
Stapleton was often overlooked by the volcanic Carroll O’Connor but she proved to be the perfect foil for him on the show.