Jean Stapleton loved playing Edith, but she didn't want the role to become her personality
When you hear the name Jean Stapleton, the first show that might come to mind is All in the Family. That's because the actress portrayed Edith Bunker, the loving wife of Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), who often had to stay optimistic during her husband's shenanigans.
Playing Edith was a huge career boost for Stapleton, who began acting at 18 in 1941. The actress won three Emmys and two Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Comedy Series for the part. However, with major success comes stress and the risk of being typecast.
In an interview with Corpus Christi Times in 1971, Stapleton talked about how hard it was to do interviews because of role's success. "It is difficult to keep talking about myself," she said. "I'm happy I haven't had the time to go on all the talk shows."
Just a few months after All in the Family debuted, the actress won her first Emmy award, and being in demand was a lot for her to handle.
Edith was a fictional character, which meant Stapleton had to talk in a high-pitched tone to fulfill the role. "The image of the character dictates how [I'll] talk," she said.
Changing her voice was easy as Stapleton worked in theatre for many years and participated in Broadway versions of films like Bells Are Ringing.
All in the Family's success made Stapleton happy, but she didn't want the role to become her personality. She wanted to play more varied parts. The actress said, "There's a whole personality basis for casting [in Hollywood], and I'm not a personality gal."
Despite not wanting Edith to be her most known part, it was, but it gave her fans from all over the world, especially women who were wives and saw themselves in the kooky but loveable Edith.
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