Stirring controversy and making us laugh with his narrow-mind and his outspoken attitude, Archie Bunker and his family changed what it meant to watch television. From 1971- 1979, we watched as this working-class family tackled political issues with wit and satire.
Ever wondered what happened to America’s favorite primetime family from the 70s? So did we. Here’s everything you need to know about what happened to the Bunkers after the series ended.
We all know him as Archie Bunker, the outspoken, closed-minded, bigoted patriarch of the Bunker household. After All, in the Family, O’Connor went on to play the lead in other hit television series In the Heat of the Night and Archie Bunker’s Place, a spin-off of All in the Family. O’Connor passed away in 2001 due to complications of diabetes.
Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker
Dim-witted and kind-hearted, Edith Bunker was brilliantly played by the lovely Jean Stapleton. Her ability to turn written words into a work of art is what merited her “a very talented stage actress” in producer Norman Lear’s eyes. Big-hearted like her character, Stapleton brightly shone her light to those close to her through friendship and life lessons.
Stapleton went on to win three Emmy and two Golden Globe awards for her performance as Edith Bunker. She appeared in multiple films and television shows between 1977 and 2001, including the sitcom Everybody, Loves Raymond in 1996 and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2013, at the age of 90, Stapleton died due to natural causes.
Rob Reiner as Meathead
Rob Reiner had his first series regular role when he was chosen to play Michael “Meathead” Stivic. Shooting a television show was not new to him though: as a little boy, Reiner spent a lot of time in the home of the Petrie family in The Dick Van Dyke Show, which was created by his father Carl. Reiner got his start in acting with roles in TV shows like Batman, The Andy Griffith Show, and The Beverly Hillbillies.
Aside from his work as an actor and a director, Reiner has also dedicated his time and talents to political activism as an advocate for anti-smoking. In 2006, Reiner was said to have been in the running against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor of California but, due to personal reasons, decided not to go through with it. Reiner is now married and living life as a father and a grandfather.
Sally Struthers as Gloria
Although she had been acting for a while, Struthers got her claim to fame playing the role of Gloria Stivic, for which she won two Emmy awards. Just before she landed the part, Struthers was fired from her job at The Tim Conway Comedy Hour. The corporate guys said she made the show look “cheap.” Oh, the irony!
Struthers appeared on the WB hit television series ‘The Gilmore Girls’ as Babette Dell. She appeared in 52 episodes. In addition to dedicating her time to activism and being a spokesperson for Save the Children, Struthers is still acting at age 70.
Betty Garrett as a young actress
Elizabeth “Betty” Garrett embodied the idea of liberalism as Archie’s neighbor Irene Lorenzo. Garrett also played another high profile role as Edna Babish, the landlady in Laverne & Shirley. In addition to being an actress, Garrett had also been a singer, dancer, and comedian since her early twenties … in fact, Garrett performed on Broadway before being signed with MGM in 1947 at the age of 28.
Garrett continued to act and made appearances on Murder She Wrote, The Golden Girls, Becker, and Grey’s Anatomy. In 2003, she got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was honored on her 90th birthday in 2009. Garrett passed away in 2011 due to heart complications. She was 91 years old.
Danielle Brisebois as Stephanie Mills
Brisebois started her work on the series during the 9th season as Stephanie Mills, Archie and Edith’s 9-year-old, Jewish niece. Stephanie was abandoned on the doorstep of the Bunker home by her alcoholic father. She was a very talented singer and applied to art schools but was turned down because of her poor grades.
Stephanie may not have been accepted into art school, but Brisebois didn’t stop chasing her dreams of becoming a singer. She started out acting, but ended her acting career and went on to become a singer, songwriter, and producer. She has produced albums and co-written songs for artists like Alanis Morissette, Natasha Beddingfield, Kelly Clarkson and Adam Levine.