Actress. She will be fondly remembered for playing Edith Baines Bunker, wife of Archie Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor) in the groundbreaking TV series "All in the Family" (1971 to 1980). Born Jeanne Murray, her father was a billboard salesman, her mother was an opera singer, she had a fondness for movies as a child. However, it would not be until her graduation from high school when she decided to pursue a career in acting. She studied at Hunter College and became associated with various theatrical groups, while earning an income working as a secretary. After taking her mother's maiden name (Stapleton), she marked her Broadway debut in the play "In the Summer House" (1953 to 1954) and followed this with parts in such prominent productions as "Damn Yankees" (1955 to 1957) and "Bells are Ringing" (1956 to 1959). During the early 1950s, she initiated her lengthy association with TV as she appeared on such live programs as "Robert Montgomery Presents." When Norman Lear conceived the idea for the controversial "All in the Family" in 1968, Stapleton was cast in the role of the long-suffering wife Edith to Archie Bunker. Her character's nickname "dingbat' became a part of the pop culture of the 1970s, as she earned multiple Emmy Awards during the series' run. After tiring of the part, Stapleton's character was written out and the series' debut episode in the fall of 1980 depicted an emotional Archie coping with the aftermath of Edith's death. During her post "All in the Family" career, she continued to appear as a guest star on a wide range of TV shows and remained active in the theater. Off the screen, Stapleton was a prominent voice in such causes as equal rights and equality for women. She died from natural causes.
Bio by: C.S.