Sally Struthers Opened up about Her Last Visit to TV Mother Jean Stapleton before Her Death
Actress Sally Struthers, best known as Gloria Stivic on “All in the Family,” once opened up about the last time she visited her on-screen mom Jean Stapleton.
Sally and Jean worked together for years. Between 1971 and 1978, both of them portrayed main characters on “All in the Family.” In Jean’s case, she reprised Edith Bunker, the matriarch of the Bunker family.
Sally Struthers pointed out that her on-screen mom was struggling physically.
SALLY STRUTHERS AND JANE STAPLETON ON “ALL IN THE FAMILY”
On the other hand, Sally played Gloria Stivic, the child of Edith and Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor). The show revolved around the lives of the Bunkers, a working-class family living in Queens, New York.
One of the aspects of the TV series that made it unique was the topics it addressed, such as racism, infidelity, women’s liberation, and more. At that time, all of them were considered unsuitable for a TV show in the US.
Apart from “All in the Family,” both actresses joined forces in the spin-off of the series “Archie Bunker’s Place” for a few episodes. During Jean’s time portraying Edith, she won three Emmys out of eight nominations.
All that time together made them good friends, which is why Sally was so heartbroken when she heard that Jean Stapleton had died. The late actress passed away on May 31, 2013, from natural causes. She was 90 years old.
SALLY ON THE LAST TIME SHE VISITED JEAN
During an interview that Sally Struthers had with TV Guide shortly after Jean’s passing, she confessed that the last time both actresses talked to each other was two years before her death.
Sally added that she flew from Virginia to New York specifically to visit Jean in her “beautiful apartment” located near Lincoln Center. According to the actress, Jean was very proud of that place and kept showing her around. She added:
“Her favorite room was quite tiny: an office filled with all her awards, mementos and scripts. She had a place where she could sit and write. A lot of reminiscing and laughter went on. I caught her up on my daughter, and she caught me up on her children.”
Sally added that their conversation and relationship in general was so good that it was as if they had never been apart from each other for long. Jean's career was so good that she even turned down the lead role on "Murder, She Wrote."
SALLY STRUTHERS DESCRIBED JEAN AS AN “ANGEL”
After labeling Jean as a “walking, living angel,” Sally Struthers pointed out that her on-screen mom was struggling physically, but that she didn’t accept it as her reality.
Apart from that, Sally admitted that Jean was very similar to Edith Bunker as both of them had a huge heart, a joy of living, and were able to giggle “like a schoolgirl” even though she was old enough to be Sally’s mother.
One of the things that Sally remarked, though, was that Edith never had the chance of getting a proper education, while Jean was “world-y smart, book smart and I.Q. smart.”
Sally also told TV Guide one of the things that Jean told her when she decided to leave “All in the Family” in 1978.
JEAN SUPPORTED SALLY WHEN SHE LEFT “ALL IN THE FAMILY”
At that point, the actress was not sure if leaving was the right choice, but Jean comforted her saying:
“Oh, Sally, darling, you started in the theater. It doesn't much matter what happens in this world of television or film. The theater will always welcome you back with open arms because it's your home.”
As per Jane’s romantic life, she was married to director William Putch between 1957 and 1983, when he passed away. They had two children together: actor and director John Putch, and TV producer Pamela Putch.
In Sally’s case, she married psychiatrist William Rader in 1977 but got divorced in 1983. Together, they have one daughter, Samantha.
Nowadays, Sally Struthers is 72 years old and is still very active in the entertainment industry. In 2019, she appeared in the short film “Friendly Neighborhood Coven.” For 2020, she is expected to work on the TV show “In-Security.”