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Jean Stapleton was an American actress best known for her award-winning role as Edith Bunker in the hit TV series All in the Family.
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(She had also played Mrs. Roosevelt in a 1982 TV movie Eleanor, First Lady of the World, which earned her an Emmy nomination.) In the 2000s, she also performed in plays by Horton Foote, whom she had first worked with in one of his first full-length plays in 1944. And, in her later years, she performed at the Totem Pole Playhouse in Pennsylvania, which was run by her husband of 25 years, director William Putch. In 1983,
Putch died of a heart attack while he and Stapleton were touring in a play he had directed.
In May 2013, the veteran stage, film and TV actress died at the age of 90 of natural causes at her home in New York City. She left behind her children, television producer Pamela Putch and director John Putch. Upon her death, Norman Lear remembered the talented actress: "No one gave more profound 'How to Be Human' lessons than Jean Stapleton."
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As women were developing roles outside the home for the first time, TV moms also began playing characters that were relatable to real-life moms. Mary Tyler Moore became America's favorite working woman—30, single and living on her own—on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. As laws changed the racial dynamics of the country, Esther Rolle portrayed the hard-working matriarch of an urban black family on Good Times. Some even chose to remarry like Bea Arthur in Maude...who was on her fourth husband.
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