Nancy O’Connor, the widow of All in the Family star Carroll O’Connor, died Nov. 10 at her Malibu home after suffering for a decade from Alzheimer’s, the Missoulian newspaper reported. She was 84.
The O’Connors were working on stage productions of Life With Father and Winterset when they met at the University of Montana after World War II. They were married in 1951 in Dublin, where Carroll had gone to accompany his brother and complete his studies. He died in June 2001 at age 76.
Nancy, who was raised in Missoula, acted in the 1977 film A Whale of a Tale opposite William Shatner.
Former University of Montana president George Dennison told the Missoulian that Nancy was nothing like Carroll’s passive TV wife, Edith Bunker (played by Jean Stapleton), on the classic CBS sitcom All in the Family.
“Not at all. Nancy was very outspoken, and she had firm opinions about things,” he said. “Usually they were the kinds of opinions that you could agree with because they were the right thing to do. A great person.”
In 1999, the university renamed its studies and public education program The O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West to honor the couple, who had given a $1 million gift to their alma mater.
Survivors include her brother John and grandson Sean. The O’Connors’ adopted son, Hugh, committed suicide in 1995.