US television icon Jean Stapleton dies

2013-06-03 12:37
jean stapleton
New York - Jean Stapleton, whose shrill-voiced housewife in the trailblazing All in the Family sitcom was one of US television's defining and most beloved characters, has died at the age of 90, media reports said on Saturday.

Stapleton came into her own as the retiring homebody Edith Bunker, who was often at odds with her curmudgeonly and bigoted husband Archie on the TV popular programme.

Unbeknownst to many Americans, however, Stapleton was an accomplished stage actress before becoming a pop culture icon during her starring role in the 1970s Norman Lear television series.

A cultural touchstone

The popular show was an adaptation of the British series Til Death US Do Part, about a working-class couple and a husband with racist views.

Stapleton played the role as slightly oddball but traditional homemaker, who over time begins to reflect on feminism and other burning social issues, fueling hilarious run-ins with her stuck-in-the-mud husband, played by actor Carroll O'Connor.

The series was such a cultural touchstone in the United States that the armchair in which O'Connor was filmed each week is now on exhibit in the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.

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