Jean Stapleton was a Hollywood star, but she lived in rural Pennsylvania

Stapleton was a real-life Hollywood Hillbilly. From Los Angeles to Pennsylvania, she liked living two different lifestyles.

Image credit: The Everett Collection

In 1971 Jean Stapleton won an Emmy award for her performance as Edith Bunker on the hit '70s sitcom, All in the Family. This would be the first of 10 nominations, three of which she won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Stapleton would have a successful career in Hollywood, but her success wasn't just based in Hollywood, it was also based just outside of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

According to a 1971 interview with Courier-Post, Stapleton, along with her husband and two kids, would split time between the country roads and the Los Angeles highways. Her husband, William Putch, was best known for his work in Charlie's Angels.

"He couldn't stand New York City," she said. "So we moved to the country. And we love it."

Stapleton would direct, manage and assist at a local theater in Pennsylvania.

According to the interview, their home in Pennsylvania was a beautiful log cabin, with four bedrooms, cathedral ceilings and a stone fireplace. It was also equipped with indoor plumbing and heating.

Their West Coast quarters was complete with a tropical garden and a swimming pool.

Stapleton said that she and her family preferred their country home over their Hollywood one, with or without the swimming pool.

In a 1971 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Stapleton said that after winning an Emmy her only concern was getting back home to her husband and kids. A lot of young kids, including her own, learned from the sitcom's realness.

"You'd be surprised at how sharp these kids are today," she said. "I've received many letters from parents saying how their children, through our series, see the difference between hatred and prejudice."

Stapleton encouraged parents to let their kids watch All in the Family because it could be used as a learning tool. What do you think? 

"They're very advanced," she began. "Like my son John is 10 going on 18 and my daughter Pam is 12 going on 20. So anytime I talk to families now I ask parents to let their kids stay up late, at least on these Monday nights."

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12 Comments

timothys71 17 months ago
Maybe she should have been on the Beverly Hillbillies--LOL! Looking forward to seeing All In the Family on MeTV.
kkvegas 17 months ago
I was only seven when All in the Family premiered, but by the time I was nine or 10, I watched it every week. It was part of CBS's Saturday night line up -- All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. I remember looking forward to Saturday night all week.
SteveMcnary 17 months ago
I remember seeing a photo of Jean Stapleton & Alice Cooper at Studio 54 back in the 70s.
Unvmyvdub 17 months ago
I never watched the show originally because I wasn't around. Later in syndication, I had seen a little of it but I didn't find it funny if it was a comedy. I guess the humor was over my head. Surprised MeTV is airing it for 2 hours on Sundays. I didn't like Monk either in that time slot last year.
Adanor Unvmyvdub 17 months ago
It is NOT the this show is renowned for its comedy, although there are lots of laughs, IT IS RENOWNED because of the new ground that it broke. This show had many firsts. Watching it in syndication, and not having "been around" back then, the new ground that it broke is not obvious.
Adanor 18 months ago
There is something about Hollywood that is just not good. In Pennsylvania, especially Chambersburg, that she could just be herself and enjoy family life.
Andybandit 18 months ago
I love AITF. I think Edith is so funny.
KawiVulc 18 months ago
I remember my parents setting off to see her in a stage production at the Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayetteville near Chambersburg in the 70s. Totem Pole used to come to our school (the Tadpole Players) to expose us kids to live theater. Timmy Tadpole, who looked a bit like Peter Pan wearing a green Lone Ranger mask, would introduce the minimalist productions always ending with "and we will see what we will see". I remember most being sorely disappointed that the Beast in Beauty & the Beast only appeared as an offstage voice. The things you remember.
cperrynaples 18 months ago
The reason Edith was killed off in 1980 is that Stapleton wanted to spend more time at home! Her last series was Bagdad Cafe with Whoopi Goldberg!
Coldnorth cperrynaples 17 months ago
I forgot Edith was killed off. Can’t remember how she died in the show
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