The ever-popular sitcom proved that the format was also a fertile ground to address important social and political issues, and it was so successful that it inspired several spinoffs.
“All in the Family” (1971–1979) was developed by Norman Lear for CBS, with the idea of addressing the generational gap that became evident in the US in the seventies, when the countercultural movement took the country by storm.
The genius of the series was taking its time to discuss America’s generational and racial diversity while still making us all laugh, but the incredible performances of these actors and actresses played no small part in the show’s success.
This is what the stars of the iconic family comedy went on to do after they left their “All in the Family” characters behind.
The late actor played Archie Bunker, a close-minded working-class World War II veteran that has a hard time coming to terms with the fast times that came after he returned home to start a family.
Actor Carroll O'Connor receiving his star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in 2000. I Image: Getty Images.
O’Connor continued playing the role in the spinoff series “Archie Bunker’s Place” (1979), and also starred in “In the Heat of the Night” (1988-1995), “Party of Five” and “Mad About You” (1996-1999).
His last role was in the 2000 film “Return to Me,” and he passed away in 2001, at the age of 76 at his home in Malibu, California, as a result of a heart attack.
The late actress played Edith Bunker, Archie’s devoted wife, who endures his husband’s hostility and bossy attitude and still loves him just as much as he does her. The two share daughter Gloria.
Stapleton character was killed off in the first episodes of the spinoff series “Archie Bunker’s Place,” in 1979, freeing her to pursue other projects like the film “The Buddy System” (1984), and the TV series “Bagdad Café” (1990-1991).
Later in her life, the actress had roles in the films “Michael” (1996), “You’ve Got Mail” (1998), and “Pursuit of Happiness” (2001), after which she retired. Stapleton passed away in 2013, at the age of 90.
The 72-year-old actress played Gloria Stivic, Archie and Edith’s only daughter, who is married to college student Michael Stivic. She shares the values of the 1960s counterculture and feminism, clashing with her conservative father.
Actress Sally Struthers attending the premiere of "Christmas Harmony" in Los Angeles in 2018. I Image: Getty Images.
Struthers continued playing the role in the spinoff series “Archie Bunker’s Place” (1979-1983), and “Gloria” (1982-1983), and moved on to land roles in “9 to 5” (1986-1988), “General Hospital” (2002), and “Still Standing” (2003-2006).
The actress became better known for a younger generation for her role in “Gilmore Girls” (2000-2007), reprising it for the returning season of the series “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” (2016). Her last film role to date was in “Christmas Harmony” (2019).
The 72-year-old actor played Michael “Meathead” Stivic, a good-hearted hippie student that is married to Gloria. He is giving the nickname “Meathead” by Archie, with whose views he often disagrees.
Actor Rob Reiner attending the Friar's Club Honors Billy Crystal event in New York City in 2018. I Image: Getty Images.
Reiner has continued leading a prolific career in both TV and film, starring in “This Is Spinal Tap” (1984), which he also directed, “Throw Momma from the Train” (1987), “Postcards from the Edge” (1990), and “Sleepless in Seattle” (1993).
Other of his credits include “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994), “The First Wives Club” (1996), “EDtv” (1999), “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013), and the comedy series “New Girl” (2012-2018).
The 50-year-old actress played Stephanie Mills, a cute, sweet, and smart nine-year-old girl that is related to Edith. She goes to live with the Bunkers after her father abandons her on Season 9.
Brisebois continued playing the role in the spinoff series “Archie Bunker’s Place” (1979-1983), before moving on to other roles in series like “California” (1983-1984), and in films like “Big Bad Mama II” (1987), “As Good as It Gets” (1997), and “Begin Again” (2013).
The late actress played Louise Jefferson, the Bunkers’ next-door neighbor, recently established in the neighborhood. She befriends Edith in the first episode of the series.
Sanford reprised the role as a lead in the spinoff series “The Jeffersons” (1975-1985) and in two guest-starring appearances in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1995-1996).
She was also in the films “Love at First Bite” (1979), “Desperate Moves” (1981), “Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog” (1989), “South Beach” (1993), “Hot City” (1996). Her last appearance before her passing in 2004, aged 86, was in the series “The Young and the Restless” (2002).
The late actor played George Jefferson, Louise’s husband, who joins the series on season 4 and soon becomes Archie’s friend and rival.
Actor Sherman Hemsley attending the MTV Networks Upfront 2003 presentation to advertisers in New York City. I Image: Getty Images.
Hemsley also reprised his role in “The Jeffersons” (1975-1985), and went on to appear in “Stewardess School” (1986), “Ghost Fever” (1986), “Club Fed” (1990), and “Mr. Nanny” (1993).
On the small screen, he made guest-starring appearances in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1992-1996), “Goode Behavior” (1996-1997), “Sister, Sister” (1995-1998), and “Clunkers” (2011), passing away the following year at the age of 74.
The late actor played Harry Snowden, the bartender at Kelcy’s Bar, a place that Archie frequents as a customer before buying it with Snowden as his business partner and employee.
Apart from reprising the role in “Archie’s Bunker’s Place”(1979-1983), Wingreen was cast in films like “Oh, God! You Devil” (1984), “The Red Fury” (1984), “Arthur 2: On the Rocks” (1988), and the TV series “Matlock” (1987-1991).
Wingreen is probably best known for lending his voice to the fan-favorite bounty hunter Boba Fett in “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980). The veteran actor passed away in 2015 at the age of 95.