'All in the Family's' Norman Lear, Rob Reiner Remember Jean Stapleton
All in the Family producer Norman Lear and actor Rob Reiner have paid tribute to Jean Stapleton, who died at age 90 at her home in New York on Friday.
Lear, the writer-producer who cast Stapleton in what became her most famous role, Edith Bunker, in the long-running CBS sitcom All in the Family, released a statement remembering the actress:
"This will be short and sweet. Never as sweet as I'd wish it to be if I took a month to write it. I only just learned that Jean Stapleton, our beloved Edith -- or Edith, our beloved Jean Stapleton -- has passed. Back in 1971, possibly the first time I was asked by a journalist "What is Jean Stapleton like, my reflexive response was: "She's always where she is." I was surprised by my answer, never had the thought before and never knew it resided within me. Can I reach deeply enough inside me now to express how much that, the idea and Jean Stapleton herself has meant to me? I was at my computer when her glorious children, John and Pam, phoned me, and I told them I was working on my memoir and reflecting on the time I was father to my personal family on Mooncrest Drive while also fathering Archie and Edith and three other families on CBS. And I added -- so, at 90, here still is Jean Stapleton, "always where she is," helping me to see my own frailties and humanity yet again. No one gave more profound "How to Be a Human Being" lessons than Jean Stapleton. Goodbye Edith, darling."
Rob Reiner, who played son-in-law Michael "Meathead" Stivic on the show, remembered Stapleton's sense of comedic timing throughout the series:
"Jean was a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing. Working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My thoughts go out to her family."