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Beloved Character Actress

From Edith Bunker to Eleanor Roosevelt

Inductee in the 15th Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

♪♫ ♪ Boy, the way Glenn Miller played,
Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us -- we had it made,
Those were the days.

And you knew who you were then,
Girls were girls and men were men,
Mister, we could use a man
Like Herbert Hoover again.

Didn't need no welfare state,
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.
♪♫ ♫--All in the Family theme song

Prologue:

Anybody who watched television in the Seventies probably would remember ditsy Edith Bunker, played by Jean Stapleton, in the role that would ensure her perpetual fame. One must remember she also surprisingly was one who on occasion showed a bit of backbone. She was seen alongside working class husband retro Archie Bunker, (portrayed memorably by Carroll O'Connor) singing composer Lee Adam's (of Bye Bye Birdie fame), "Those Were the Days" just before the opening credits of All in the Family. Though the rendition was a bit out of key and was punctuated with Edith's screeching alto while hitting the high notes, they were delightful to watch and hear. The CBS show first aired on January 12, 1971 and lasted until 1979, and their spinoff, Archie's Place survived another four (but Edith wanted out before the second season). She won 3 Emmys out of the 8 for which she was nominated during each year of this classic sitcom. Did I mention the three Golden Globe awards, too?

Though Archie's character was a conservative straw man, who affectionately called Edith, "Dingbat," and Bob Reiner's "Meathead" Michael Stivic was the progressive martyr, (whose wife Gloria was played by Sally Struthers), the writing for the Norman Lear production humorously reflected the times. A period of American history where first the Democratic hawkish establishment reared its ugly head (at the Chicago Democratic Convention); and then Nixon and company made those on the GOP to certainly look like villains.

You can watch the eerie posthumous (that's probably actually a "pre") vignette where Archie, in the second season of Archie's Place, says he "...was supposed to be the first one to go" before Edith, who "died", but the actor Carroll O'Connor died on June 21, 2001 some dozen years before actress Jean Stapleton passed at her Manhatten New York City home. She left us still too soon on May 31, 2013.

For me, living for a dozen or so years in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania area, it was especially important to do Jean Stapleton's biography since she made the Caledonia area near Fayetteville, PA her other favorite get-a-way home. It is just 10 miles west of me, and on the way to that most popular of National Parks: Gettysburg. There she was also involved with her other business and performing interest: the Totem Pole Playhouse. She joins her husband, who preceded her passing on in 1983, so they are resting together nearby in Frankin cemetery. Until recently her son John Putch, an actor himself and daughter Pamela Putch, a Vice President TV producer, ran the summer theater in its 64th season: one of only 11 still surviving.

Big Apple Seeds

New York City also was where nearly bankrupt billboard advertising salesman, Joseph E. Murray, lived with his accomplished operatic singer, Marie Stapleton Murray. She probably hit the highest notes of her career on January 19, 1923 when daughter Jeanne Murray was born. (Unless it was the birth of son John E. "Jack" two years earlier {the brother who also became a stage actor, and sadly died early}). She is not, as some incorrectly guess, related to the actress Maureen Stapleton, though even more confusingly Maureen's father's name was John.

She went to the first public high school for girls that opened in 1902, The Wadleigh High School for Girls (named after a women's education pioneer, Lydia Fowler.) Ex-Schools Associate Superintendent, Dr. John L. Tildsey, told the New York Times in 1937 that Wadleigh students "have to pass through a neighborhood where gentlewomen do not like to pass." {Harlem had changed from its original Jewish and white population to an increasing African-American one.} They had moved from Manhattan to Long Island until she was a tween, and returned to the downtown at 141st Street and Broadway; but Jean loved the big city and all it had to offer.

Her love of the cinema started as a kid, schlepping with a hard earned dime every time she could to see the latest double feature; and she saved up her dollars to go to the stage shows she read in The New York Times theater section. She loved the musicals so much, her original career goal was to be a musical critic.

After graduation in 1939 she attended Hunter College in the Lenox Hill neighborhood of Manhattan's Upper East Side. (It was ranked number two as a "Best Value" public college in 2010.) During her college years she sang in Robert Shaw’s Collegiate Chorale reprising Beatrice Lillie's "Double Dozen Double Damask Dinner Napkins".  (Shaw {not the one from Jaws} would go on to form the famous Robert Shaw Chorale in 1948.)

From the Snore of the Classroom to the Roar of the Greasepaint

In the early forties she was working as a secretary while pursuing show business by taking acting lessons at the American Apprentice Theatre. Evidently academics gave way to show business, as she hooked up with the American Actors’ Company which had been started in 1938 by such luminaries as Agnes DeMille, Jerome Robbins, and writer Horton Foote. She recalled in 2000 how in those days you went from agency to agency looking to be cast, "using up a lot of shoe leather." She was in the latter's 1944, People in the Show, and other of his works up until 2002, the last one being The Carpetbagger's Children at the Lincoln Center which finished that June. Foote spoke of Stapleton to the Associated press 7 years before he died in 2009:

I was very impressed with her. She has a wonderful sense of character. Her sense of coming to life on stage - I never get tired of watching.

Like her brother, she now decided to use her mother's maiden name for a stage moniker that was as she put it: "more distingué".

Her first big gig after doing the straw hat circuit (summer stock) during the mid 1940's came in 1948 when she played opposite Frank Fay, who played the Elwood P. Dowd role onstage before Jimmy Stewart brought that part from Mary Coyle Chase's "Harvey," to the silver screen. Dowd was the guy who was the only one who could see the big invisible rabbit. Stapleton was the arriviste sister Veta.

Bells ARE Ringing

Most importantly, while she was with "Harvey," on tour in 1949 at the Olney Theater (a far out Washington DC suburb), she met the state manager William "Bill" Putch, a peer who was only about eight months her senior.  The love-letter pen pals would tie the knot in 1957, her joining the Pennsylvania native son who was also an actor, producer, writer, and director. He had built his 453-seat theater, the Totem Pole, in 1954 near the Caledonia State Park.  While Jean and Bill had residences in California and New York, he introduced her to the charms of rural South Central Pennsylvania.

With the Soap and in the Soaps

Needing to pay the bills, the D'Arcy Company used her as a mother figure in 1950 for Ivory Snow commercials. (This advertising agency would not only insure us that Ivory Snow was 99.44% pure they had made Coca Cola's image of Santa the default much earlier, and later they made famous the quip about Chiffon margarine's plagiarizing butter, "It's not nice to fool mother nature!" The agency also informed us and reassured worried mothers about candy messes because M & M's "melt in your mouth, not in your hands." They had us toast everyone and everything with "This Bud's for you.")

She eventually landed a variety of television parts (that is, before the obvious one), whether a part as a teacher on the series Starlight Theater, on Robert Montgomery Presents in 1953, playing Gwen on the 1954 soap opera about a Manhattan dress designer, Woman with a Past, and on The Defenders she plays alongside future TV husband Carroll O'Connor.

Giving More than Regards Off and On Broadway

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway (on Broadway).
They say there's always magic in the air (on Broadway).
Lieber/Stoller

Her patience paid off in 1953 as she landed the role of "Inez", the advice-giving proprietor of an oyster bar in Jane Bowles’s play: In the Summer House. It was directed by 1974 Tony award winner Panamanian director Jose Quintero, who had started directing 4 years earlier, and would go on to be known for specializing in adapting Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill's work in his Off-Broadway theatre Circle in the Square he founded 3 years earlier.

Another opportunity to be in a big production was at the 46th Street Theatre on May 5, 1955 for the musical rendition Damn Yankees by Richard Adler (score) and Jerry Ross (lyrics) of George Abbott and Douglass Wallop's book, The Year The Yankees Lost The Pennant. George Abbott had seen her in Summer House and wanted her in this. Bob Fosse choreographed the always sold out 7 time Tony winner, and though Jean played a minor stint as "Sister Miller" working with leads Ray Walston and Gwen Verdon, her voice rang above the others in "You've Got to Have Heart." Her performance in it was where Norman Lear first witnessed her excellent stage presence.

She also had a part as "Sue" in the in 1956 Jerome Robbins directed Bells are Ringing written by Comden and Green for a depressed (she had been harassed by the McCarthy blacklisting) divorcee Judy Holliday who played "Ella" and musically staged by Bob Fosse. (Side note: His life was portrayed in the movie All That Jazz).

Who Raided Hollywood

Almost as soon as she finished Bells are Ringing, the newly wed was reprising her role in Damn Yankees with Walston and Verdon for the screen version in 1958. She returned to NYC in 1959 to be "Mrs. Madigan" in  Juno, starring Shirley Boothe, who was also returning to the "great white way,"and Melvyn Douglas at the Winter Garden Theatre on 1634 Broadway At W. 50th Street.  Based on a somber satirical story by Sean O’Casey about Dublin in the twenties, critics found it humorless and it closed after 16 performances. However, 1960 found her joining the cast for the celluloid release of Bells are Ringing directed by Vincente Minnelli, with Dean Martin, replacing Charlie Chaplin's son, Sydney Chaplin; and had Stephen Douglass' "Joey" weakly personified by Tab Hunter.

Theater of the Absurd

JEAN: The more you drink the thirstier you get, popular science tells us that. . .

BERENGER: It would be less dry, and we'd be less thirsty, if they'd invent us some scientific clouds in the sky.

JEAN: {studying BERENGER closely} That wouldn't help you any. You're not thirsty for water, Berenger. . .
--From the opening lines in Eugene Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" (1959)

Romanian-born Eugene Ionesco was one in that small group of late fifties early sixties avant garde playwrights that included Obie prized Frenchman Jean Genet and Irish Nobel winner Samuel Beckett. (The Obie award is for Off Broadway, started by The Village Voice newspaper.) He called his work "anti-plays, " and his first foray into Broadway was with the 1961 production of his piece, Rhinoceros. It featured Jean Stapleton playing "Mrs. Ochs" (the one who claimed her husband turned into a rhinoceros, {the original character was called "Mrs. Bœuf"}). She shared the stage with such notables as Anne Jackson, with her husband,  Eli Wallach (as Berenger {married 66 years until separated by his recent death}); and Zero Mostel, who won a Tony for portraying Jean. (A year earlier audiences saw the Orson Welles directed version in London England's Royal Court Theater with none other than Lawrence Olivier as Berenger.)

Exit Stage Left Coast

For convenience in the early 60s she and her husband had a home in Hollywood, although he was busy in Pennsylvania while she was still doing movies and television having Jean call herself "a Totem Pole widow. When her school age children stayed in California with her, they took tests by mail with the education officials in Pennsylvania.

She obtained a bit part as Sally Johnson in 1961's Something Wild, a Carrol Baker vehicle, which had a musical score by Aaron Copeland). She was a patient on Dr. Kildare  and  also appeared in 1962's The Doctors and the Nurses. She was the tough talking (a 180 degrees from Edith) housekeeper, "Laura Davis," on  Episode 23 of the third season of the Dennis the Menace show.

Then she returned to Broadway to join the 1964 production of Funny Girl: based on Isobel Lennart's loose biography of Fanny Brice. As Mrs. Strakosh, Jean sang about Fanny in "If a Girl Isn't Pretty." It was performed for 1348 shows! And, nominated for a 1964 Tony.  (Isobel Lennert could relate to Fanny, like she did in 1955 about Ruth Etting in her co-writing, Love Me or Leave Me, a female striving yet thriving in a male dominated world; she was even a member of the Communist Party until around WWII.)  Barbara Streisand made this a hit here, and she repeated her greatness on film (but alas without Jean). (It makes me want to break out into a falsetto version of "People.")

She was "Sadie Finch" in the 1967 movie Up the Down Staircase adapted from Bel Kaufman's novel by Tad Mosel about a teacher (Sandy Dennis) in the inner city with her hands full. This fine rendition (critics agreed) of the problems in impoverished schools had its thunder stolen by that year's other similar topic starring Sidney Poitier in To Sir, With Love.

In 1968, for eight years, Jean's Husband Bill battled lymphatic cancer, she encouraged him while he went against his lifelong Christian Science beliefs and had successful medical treatments. Bill had said she was
...never once giving me the feeling that I was doing the wrong thing. And it may be that her supportive faith, is the reason why I'm the only one of the 15 still alive.

Savoring the Seventies 

I met Jean in 1969 when we were making a movie called Cold Turkey. A wonderful woman named Marion Dougherty reminded me I'd seen her in Damn Yankees. But I didn't remember, and without Marion's help, I never would have found her. She was a great, great casting director at Warner's. I think someone is writing a book about her.

Anyway, she brought Jean in and I loved her. I said, "You'll be perfect; you can play the mayor's wife," and just as she was leaving for a train to Bucks County, I said, "There's one thing I think I should tell you. I had an Aunt Rose who used to sneeze a lot in the early morning. I remember her coming into the kitchen wearing a kimono over a nightgown when I was about 9, sneezing away and opening the refrigerator. She reached down to get something, sneezed, and one breast fell out that she quickly tucked away, like in half a second. I want to do that with the mayor's wife." And Jean said, "That sounds all right."

Twenty minutes later, we were reading somebody else for another part and Jean calls from Penn Station. She'd been thinking and wasn't sure she could go through with the refrigerator scene. In a delightful way, she said maybe we should think of someone else. And I said, "No way, you're in the movie. You can keep the boob in the kimono." --Norman Lear, June 2014 The Hollywood Reporter

Jean finally did accept being Mrs. Wappler in 1971's Cold Turkey, that Norman Lear written and directed comedy about a whole town quitting smoking for, ironically, a tobacco company's 25 million dollar prize. She shared the screen with Dick Van Dyke and Tom Posten; and its music was done by the talented Randy Newman. The established movie critic Roger Ebert gushed,

Lear makes it work by a brilliant masterstroke: He gets the comedy, not out of people trying to stop smoking, but out of the people themselves.

Mrs. Edith Justice ... Who?

Not sure if her espousal to Mr. Justice would come to fruition until there was purchase of the pilot, she assumed the guise of a secretary for a hooker hiring garment district manager, Mr. Goldfarb, in Klute. This was a 1971 murder mystery, where small town cop (Donald Sutherland) uses cold-hearted prostitute (Jane Fonda) and strange love interest for bait. After several TV appearances as guests through 1972 and 1973, she played the mother of Marlo Thomas' "Gina" on Acts of Love-And Other Comedies on ABC. This show with six sketches won the Emmy for comedy writing in 1973.

The Lear Jet Lands

Well, it took three years or a little more to get it on the air. I made it for one network - there were only three at the time. I made it for ABC originally. They wouldn't put it on and couldn't jettison it. So they used the contract to ask me to make a second show a year later. I didn't change the script. I just simply did it again - same leads - Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton. And they again didn't put it on. But this time they lost it. And a year later, CBS had a new executive. {Fred Silverman} And he wanted a brand that would feel like him. And he picked up All In The Family.--Norman Lear, October 11, 2014 to Arun Rath, NPR

Proving persistent, Norman Lear continued for years to push his pilot which he had derived from a Johnny Speight created show in the UK, Till Death Us Do Part. It was at first peddled to ABC and then afterwards several times to CBS. Even when CBS got on board, because they were having their "rural purge," (Petticoat Junction, Hee-Haw, etc.) going for of the youth audience, he still had a standoff with the executives over his episode where Gloria and Michael are caught having been upstairs while Edith and Archie came back early from the boring church service.

And they were still - can't do it, can't do it. I just had a sense that if they won this battle, which was almost silly, that would dictate the nature of the show. And I couldn't do that. So I said clearly, that goes on the air or do the show without me. And it went on the air. And believe me, no state seceded from the union. America lived with it. --Norman Lear on NPR, October 11, 2014

His bluff paid off, and the rest, as they should say in comedy, is hysterical. Here's a "biographical"vignette:

ROB REINER, (Michael Stivic "Meathead"): What about you two? What happened on your first date?

O'CONNOR (Archie Bunker): Oh, make believe you don't hear that.

JEAN STAPLETON, (Edith Bunker): Oh, I will never forget it.

(LAUGHTER)

O'CONNOR: All right, don't make it a long story.

STAPLETON: Yeah. I was at the Puritan Maid ice cream -- me and my cousin Mort.

O'CONNOR: Mooort!

STAPLETON: We was having one of their specials. It was called a Steamboat -- oh, it was so delicious. Five different flavors, and Archie was sitting at another table, with that Jefferson Pratt, remember him?

Anyway, Archie was trying to get my attention. So first he put two straws in his nose like a Walrus. And then...
(All in the Family, Season 2 Episode 5; "Flashback: Mike Meets Archie")

Typecast but Not a Castaway 

Truck drivers would call at me if they'd spot me on the street, and yell out "Edith!" -- And I find most of the time, I'm addressed by my real name which is a great step of progress. But if anybody calls me "Edith," I just correct them, say "the name is Jean." --2000 interview with Karen Herman for the Television Academy Foundation

In regards to establishing that unforgettable persona of Edith she adjusted to Archie's character right from the first rehearsals with the famous "run" to set the table etc., and of that other specialty she reveals:

I added the nasality because I had used it in Damn Yankees for comic purposes and I thought I'll give her that nasality, ...I'll steal it from myself.

Jean, in her 2000 interview with the Television Academy Foundation, mentions that she was apolitical before becoming embroiled with the topicality of All in the Family, then she became active, allowing her picture as Edith to used in some magazines as the embattled housewife. More significantly she became head of the second Commission on Women's Rights in 1977, which met in Houston, Texas, reminding us that the first one was held in New York state in 1968. Her constant trips to Washington, D.C. she cites as her higher education in these things.  With the help of the writers she, and her character Edith, were able to stand up several important times to Archie's bigotry. Jean had often remarked that she hoped Edith was not the typical housewife, even though she said Edith would have one or two "zingers" that would stop Archie's "hot air." The show and Edith would not only feature racial issues, but she was real enough to share menopause, breast cancer and rape as well.

There's nothing like humor to burst what seems to be an enormous problem. Humor reduces it to nothing and wipes it out. That's what humor does. That was a great part of that show in terms of every issue, but especially bigotry. And you know you make fun of something, it reduces it to nothing. --2000 Emmy interview

She also added in that interview she made it a point to turn down parts that echoed that of Edith, many these would have been on other well-known comedies. She notes that it was worse in the beginning, with even friends as well as strangers, and she did not want to get "buried" as the dumb housewife, limiting her future employment. She was proud of her variety as she quipped in that Herman Q & A:

I was never a leading lady, never fit in that category. So, I played bag ladies and anything else you can think of. I played secretaries and the like.

Even though she was a success with television, she still loved the stage, doing parts in the suummer at the Totem Pole for Call Me Madam and Hello Dolly, the latter not being her favorite except where she got a standing ovation for ad-libbing: "Wa, wa, wa, fellas, look at the dingbat now, fellas".

Angel Dust Mom to First Lady

As mentioned above, in 1979 she did not want to continue in the spinoff that Carroll O'Connor wanted as a way to continue Archie in Archie's Place after All in the Family folded. Putting her buck stops here where her mouth was, in 1981 she was in a made for TV movie, which featured her real son, John Putch, (also in Lear's One Day at a Time as Bob Morton), playing her character's son in Angel Dust. In this adaptation of Ursula Etons' book, aired that November, the young man learns the hard way from buying marijuana ("weed") on the street, where one might buy herbs or "pot" laced with PCP, here known as "Angel Dust." Jean is the clueless mother in this story about her kid who messes up his life big-time with this dissociative anesthetic.*

Jean Stapleton's favorite role would be her next, that of Eleanor Roosevelt, one of a few famous First Ladies to our nation's presidents. Jean had planned this years before because as she said:

She was a woman who blossomed as a person in her later years, a woman with a case of the uglies who became beautiful.
Eleanor Roosevelt, for those stuck in a time bubble, was the wife to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States who served from 1933 to 1945. She played this bigger than life lady on stage, one of the times as a one-woman show commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations charter. Later it was filmed for a television movie, Eleanor, First Lady of the World (1982).

 

Susan Stamberg had a first hand encounter:

I had the privilege and joy of sharing a stage in Washington, D.C., with Jean Stapleton in the 1980s. She played Eleanor Roosevelt. I played a pushy reporter (!). The Smithsonian put us together for a one-night-only appearance before an audience in one of the museum auditoriums.

Our scripts were in big black binders, and each of us stood in front of a podium — Ms. Stapleton at stage right, me at stage left. The afternoon rehearsal, directed by Donn Murphy, who ran the National Theatre at the time, went smoothly, and we all looked forward to the evening performance. As did the enthusiastic audience of Washington movers and shakers who assembled later on.

We began. Got laughs in the right places, "hmmms" in the right places. Had a marvelous time. Then, halfway through, I posed one of my pushy questions, and Stapleton's Mrs. Roosevelt did not respond with the answer that was written in the script. I was puzzled. Went on to the next question. Again, an unscripted reply — one that made utterly no sense.

I hesitated, bewildered. And Stapleton, not breaking character, without losing a beat, said, "You know, I prepared very carefully for this interview. But I can't seem to find Page 38!" The audience roared. I immediately crossed over to her podium, plopped my script on top of it for us to share, and we carried on with the proper page, and then another half page. At which point Jean Stapleton/Eleanor Roosevelt said — again not losing a beat or her Eleanor accent — "You can go back to your place now!" Again, the audience roared. So did I. And walked to my podium with a grin, to resume.

She did guest parts on ABC's Love Boat that ran for 9 years from 1977, and on Showtime's Ray Bradbury Theater that ran from 1985 to 1992. In 1990 and 1991 she played an abandoned wife at the lonely desert Bagdad Café, owned by a gentle spirited Whoopi Goldberg.

The Show Must Go On

How oft, when men are at the point of death,
Have they been merry! which their keepers call
A lightning before death.
--Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, Act V, sc 3

By 1983 Bill Putch's Totem Pole had staged around 225 productions, the last decade seeing an increase because of his wife's fame, many coming to get her signature. Not only did old screen mate Sandy Dennis appear there, but also from Three's Company, John Ritter, as well as Bruce Dern, and others. Son John remembered:

It was odd. Everyone around us started treating us differently, which is something I don't understand. It was like we were different from the rest of the world, like we were on display in a zoo. That's how children see it. We didn't want to be treated differently.

In 1983 Jean's husband Bill Putch, who also was known for working with Charlie's Angels was directing her in a George Kelly comedy from 1924, The Show-Off, as part of their tour in Syracuse when tragedy struck. She said Bill, "...could do everything in the theater, even sew costumes. I married a summer theater." However that third morning Bill's simple store run became a hospital run because of chest pains. His cab ride three blocks away was too late, not even an hour had passed when he too was no longer with us. Though she did not finish in New York, knowing Bill would demand it, she did play the role in Florida, and then all the way through to its finish in Millburn, New Jersey the next March.

Before a poignant Totem Pole appearance in 1984 in Kaufman and Hart's, You Can't Take It With You, she first faced and gave the theater-goers these heartfelt words:

This theater has been run for 30 years by Bill Putch, who passed away last November. We're dedicating this 31st season as a year of renewal to him. I hope every evening you come to the Totem Pole Playhouse you will take away more love and life than the measure you brought in the door.

Blame it on Those Nights on Broadway

She returned to Broadway as Abby Brewster at the 46th Street Theatre in a revival of Arsenic and Old Lace. This Norman Lear associated production ran from the 26th of June, 1986 to January 3rd the next year. On Sunday, June 12, 1994 she was a presenter of a Tony Award on the televised ceremony. She hit the stage in San Francisco in 1997 to perform at the American Conservatory Theatre in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard and Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker."

She was on the silver screen again in that John Travolta 1996 angelic vehicle, Michael, and the sweet Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks 1998 romantic comedy, You've Got Mail. She was almost ambivalent about her living in automobile dependent and laid back Los Angeles confessing "...it's not a theater town," although ironically it had "a lot of good theater, " and; "That's my town, I like to go there. I like to work there. And then I like to leave."

It was only natural that the character actress would thrive in fun projects like Shelley Duvall's 1990 Disney Channel's Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme, of course Jean was Mother Goose. She was the Fairy Godmother in "Cinderella," another Shelley Duvall works in her and Showtime's, Faerie Tale Theatre. She continued on in 1994 as Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in Duvall's latest children's series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. She joins such luminaries as Mick Jagger in "Aladdin, and "Beauty and the Beast, Robin Williams as the Frog Prince, Billy Crystal as the wisest of "Three Little Pigs." She was numbered with Christopher Reeve, Jeff Bridges, Liza Minnelli, Vincent Price, and Jeff Goldblum in those old kids' tales: "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Little Mermaid," and "Rip Van Winkle," etcetera.

Epilogue

Fame is an unreal and unimportant thing, to me the goal was always constant work. But it's nice to have the approval and to hear the laughter.

She was in seven initial Broadway productions that became classics but was cheated out of any Tonys, yet presented at the 1972 show. Jean Stapleton, the character actor, was worth 10 million dollars near the end of her life. She also was billed as Giovanna Pucci, playing Edith Bunker's doppelganger named Judith Klammerstadt, albeit with a 180 degree personality in an All in the Family episode entitled, "A Girl Like Edith." She also was sometime called by her married name, Jean Putch.

I miss her dearly.


Sources:

http://www.jeanstapleton.net/
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20088191,00.html
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20064291,00.html
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/TotemPolePlayhouse/prweb10212989.htm
http://www.biography.com/people/jean-stapleton-9492310
http://www.destinationgettysburg.com/visitor/member_detail.asp?contact_id=41
http://www.therecordherald.com/article/20130603/NEWS/130609975/0/SEARCH?template=printart
http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/jean-stapleton
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/norman-lear-jean-stapleton-a-562207
http://www.npr.org/2014/10/11/354650309/tv-giant-norman-lear-shares-gems-from-92-years-of-experience
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/06/03/188320787/how-jean-stapleton-and-eleanor-roosevelt-saved-an-evening-at-the-theater
http://articles.latimes.com/1995-04-02/entertainment/ca-50066_1_blithe-spirit/2


*(Phencyclidine, also known as "Killer Weed," "KW," "Killer Joints," "Peace Pills," "Hog", "Ashy Larry," "illy," "Love Boat," "Sherm," "Water," "ozone," "wack," "supergrass," "rocket fuel," "embalming fluid," and or "wet" is about one of the worse things anyone could imbibe. It sends more people to the IR {usually from hurting themselves and freaking out}, and or, the Psychiatric ward than anything. It was meant to only be used as an animal tranquilizer {relegated to that after finding out its horrific psychological neurological side effects as a sedative}).

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