Edith Bunker

From Academic Kids

Edith Bunker is a fictional 1970s sitcom mom on All in the Family, played by Jean Stapleton. She was the wife of Archie Bunker, mother of Gloria Stivic, and mother-in-law of Michael "Meathead" Stivic.

Edith was the voice of reason and rock of understanding, often contributing a unique perspective to a topic. She was decidedly less conservative than Archie (e.g., she was good friends with her neighbor, Louise Jefferson, while Archie was always at odds with her and husband, George). But even though her opinions sometimes sharply differed from Archie's, she was intensely loyal to her husband, often stuck up for him and stood by him in his time of need.

When "All in the Family" premiered in 1971, Edith was a housewife. In 1974, to help bring in extra money to the Bunker household, Edith got a part-time job as a caretaker at the Sunshine Home. She later was a partner in Archie's business, Archie's Place, the tavern he purchased in 1977.

Edith was most known for her shrill voice that could very easily break glass (her trademark "Oh, Aaaaaaaaaah-chie!" became very popular among viewers) and her flighty demeanor. The latter character trait caused Archie to call her "dingbat". However, Archie truly loved his wife and wanted what was best for both of them. He was intensely protective of her and became upset at even the thought of losing her (a point driven home in the episode "Too Good Edith," one of the last of the original "All in the Family" series, where Edith becomes seriously ill while frantically helping Archie cook Irish dinners for a St. Patrick's Day celebration at the bar).

Archie's worst nightmare came true in 1980, when Edith died of a stroke. The series was by now known as "Archie Bunker's Place," and Jean Stapleton had wished to leave her role (in interviews, Stapleton has stated the role of Edith had reached its potential). The 1980-1981 season premiere acknowledged Edith's death (which had occurred a month before, and focused on Archie's denial and later grieving over Edith's death.

Missing image
Dingbat.jpeg
Jean Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker.

Quotes

"Wisdom? What's the difference between that and Intelligence?"
"Edith Bunker."
"What?" She flinched as the others glared as though in chorus. "What?" she whispered.
"I said, Edith Bunker from 'All in the Family'? Not too bright, but wise as all hell. Or to take a counterexample, Richard Nixon. Get it?"

--Joel Rosenberg, "The Sleeping Dragon"

Links

Download the infamous Edith's Death Episode, at http://www.allinthefamilysit.com (http://www.allinthefamilysit.com/ediths_death.shtml)

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