Jean Stapleton didn't like when Edith got too serious on ''All in the Family''

She also knew when her time playing the character had come to an end.

Jean Stapleton became a star on Norman Lear's series All in the Family and continued to stun and entertain for nine seasons. However, by the time Archie Bunker's Place had begun filming, Stapleton knew that she was finally ready to leave the character behind.

In an interview with the Christian Science News Service, she explained, "I just don't want to play Edith all my life." The actress had left her impact on the series, so much so that audiences had begun to dissolve the divide between the actress and character. Stapleton was aware of this, as she said, "I know people will continue to identify me with her, and that's part of my reason for stopping."

Even as she was ready to say goodbye, Stapleton was able to reflect on her character's journey, particularly through the more recent seasons of All in the Family. She said, "I was a little concerned we were using the serious side of Edith too much, and I was not doing the riotous comedy that we used to do in the first three years. If I had decided to invest more years in the show, I would have made a demand for more comedy instead of the melodramatic experiences Edith was having."

Still, Stapleton spoke highly of her time on the show. She remarked, "For me, it was the highest education in comedy. I was part of a marvelous team and also learned about writing. My mind is so sharpened through that whole experience that now I can analyze a play of whatever length with a clarity and perception I never had before."

As for the more serious side of Edith Bunker, Stapleton did add that she was always happy with the messaging the show chose to send off to viewers. She said, "I was also proud of the social conscience of the show. Although it was mainly entertainment, it did evoke thought and controversy."

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6 Comments

Tanisha32 2 months ago
I noticed that she was getting more serious as the series went on. I didn't like when Archie almost cheated on her, not because the episodes were bad, but because it was 3 parts and it was all very serious for such a funny show.
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Seems "AITF" has settled in nicely on the Sunday evening schedule. Still miss "Columbo" though. It's unfortunate that the network couldn't negotiate a deal for that series. Oh well, maybe sometime in the future,(wishful thinking).
timothys71 LoveMETV22 2 months ago
I recall that MeTV previously had the original 1970's incarnation of Columbo, and Cozi TV had the reboot that debuted in 1989 and aired sporadically through the 1990's. My understanding is that when the contract was up, the company that owns the distribution rights wanted the whole thing on one network. Cozi won the bidding war, so they now have all of Columbo and are currently airing it on Saturdays.
LoveMETV22 timothys71 2 months ago
Think its on Hallmark and Great American Family Network as well as Cozi.
LoveMETV22 timothys71 2 months ago
Yeah! Appreciate your response! However Columbo is on several networks in the meanwhile! Weigel by their choice didn't wish to re-new! Their Loss! It was a good series and a loss to MeTV in the meanwhile!
Runeshaper 2 months ago
I'm glad that she enjoyed performing on the show and that she felt that the show had an impact on society.
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