Sally Struthers got tired of playing ''fourth banana'' to ''Mr. O'Connor'' and the rest of the All in the Family cast

"I fear and love God — I respect Mr. O'Connor."

Viewers may have been surprised when they tuned in to see Gloria Bunker Stivic on her own in 1982. That's the year when Sally Struthers' then-new series Gloria premiered on CBS' fall lineup. The show picked up where All in the Family left off, with Gloria raising her eight-year-old son Joey. However, there was a big difference in where her show was set. Instead of the familiar dwelling at 704 Hauser Street, Gloria had relocated to suburban Dutchess County, New York, where she worked as a veterinarian's assistant. 

That same year, Sally Struthers discussed the new show and everything that came with it in an interview with The Indianapolis Star. Struthers was thrilled for the opportunity to pave her way with her own TV show, one that would highlight the reality of being a working-class, single mom.

"Gloria will show the evolution of a woman of the 1980s," she said, describing Gloria as "a woman on her own after always being taken care of.

"When I left All in the Family, I had played every facet of Gloria. Now, three-and-a-half years later, she's a whole new character."

That new show would benefit from a format that focused entirely on Gloria. Other characters from All in the Family might be mentioned off-handedly, but none would appear on the show. This was a huge selling point for Struthers, who looked forward to the chance to have her own show without being overshadowed by the likes of Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton.

"It's so exciting going from fourth banana to your own show," she said. "It's like going to Oz."

When the conversation inevitably touched on her former co-stars, Struthers spoke of the former head of the Bunker household in strangely formal tones. Throughout the interview, she only referred to the actor who played Archie as "Mr. O'Connor."

Asked if she always spoke of Carroll this way, she said, "Yes, out of respect because he is a most incredible performer. I fear and love God — I respect Mr. O'Connor." 

Gloria ranked 18th in the ratings for the 1982 television series. Despite the promising start, CBS decided not to renew the show for a second season.

Watch All in the Family on MeTV!

Two full hours!

Sundays at 8 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

13 Comments

JV 2 months ago
Yeah, they didn't renew the show because it was so bad.
Wiseguy70005 JV 2 months ago
More likely it was due to lower-than-expected ratings and the fact that Archie Bunker's Place was also being cancelled. "Bad" shows get renewed all the time.
Patty7163 2 months ago
As much as I love All In The Family, Sally Struthers wasn’t as strong of an actress/actor as the rest of the family.
Crash66 Patty7163 2 months ago
I actually saw her perform live at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine a few years back and she is a terrible actress.
brianallen00046 2 months ago
So Archie was right all along about the meathead. Mike freeloaded off the Bunkers for years while he was in school and starting his career. Then ended up leaving his "little girl" for one of his students.
Rob brianallen00046 2 months ago
Good point!
I consider that non-canon character assassination. I was never a big fan of Gloria, but the backstory that Mike strayed was stupid. Would have been better had they simply mentioned that he died.

It reminds me of when Abe Vigoda made a guest appearance on Barney Miller a few years after Fish was cancelled. He made the comment about the two original kids that Victor was in jail for assault and that Jilly had gotten pregnant. There was no need to assassinate those characters like that.
IndianaRockz 2 months ago
I like how the female spin-off shows could have just one name of the main character as the title as in "Gloria", "Maude", "Rhoda", "Phyllis" since the characters were already know to viewers.
tgoschwartz 2 months ago
No disrespect, but her acting was not on par with the two top stars, Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton. She was cute and did a good job, but people primarily watched because of Carroll and Jean. I will admit I didn't watch her show, because I didn't even know it existed.
Runeshaper 2 months ago
It's GREAT that she got to have her own show, even if only for 1 season.
cperrynaples Runeshaper 2 months ago
Yep, the closest it came to reruns is the pilot that is included in the Archie Bunker's Place package! BTW, no Mike because the Meathead ran away with one of his students!
Runeshaper cperrynaples 2 months ago
That dang guy!
Wiseguy70005 cperrynaples 2 months ago
It's included in the ABP package because it WAS an episode of ABP. CBS had just decided not to air it.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?