The Everett Collection

Sally Struthers thought Gloria should have had a job on All in the Family

Sally Struthers was on TV every Saturday night while households all over the country tuned in to watch her story expand on All in the Family. As viewers watched Gloria Bunker-Stivic's story transform, Struthers watched herself in the role, and had a few suggestions for the writers.

In a 1972 interview with The Shreveport Journal, Struthers explained why her character had very little development for most of the nine seasons of All in the Family.

"Gloria is just as lazy as [her] husband Mike," Struthers said. "An only child, Gloria has been babied for so long, she just wouldn't be able to make the break. She doesn't polish silver, dust or cook, and I'll bet Gloria even avoids making the bed. So moving out doesn't make sense."

Struthers was happy with being a minor part of the family. However, she would try to fight for change. Struthers talked to the writers about her story and how they could propel it forward. 

She wanted more than just the line: "That you, Mike?"

"I'm not a writer," she said. "But I like the idea of Gloria getting a job to help out. A lot of funny things could happen with that premise."

We could only imagine what would have happened if they allowed all of Struthers' storylines to come to life. But one pitch to the writers actually worked in her favor. 

Around this time, Struthers was in a whirlwind romance in real life. This inspired her to ask writers about her character, Gloria, getting pregnant. Would it be written into the show?

According to Struthers, this was their response: "Great. And if you time it right, Gloria could give birth on a Tuesday." (series weekly taping night)

"Lucille Ball did it and made TV history," she said. "There's a difference though. Lucille Ball is taller and could carry it well. I'd be as big out as up."

Struthers had a lot of experience in acting after All in the Family's nine seasons, but according to a 1972 interview with Press and Sun-Bulletin, acting wasn't her first choice for a career. 

Struthers became superstitious after she noticed a pattern: All in the Family was her third big project, it was her third career choice, and it had her believing that the third time was the charm.

"From now on," she said. "I'm going to try and figure out a way to skip number one and two." 

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