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Stapleton, Jean 1923–

STAPLETON, Jean 1923


Original name, Jeanne Murray; born January 19, 1923, in New York, NY; daughter of Joseph E. (a billboard advertising sales representative) and Marie (a singer; maiden name, Stapleton) Murray; married William H. Putch (a theatre producer and director), October 26, 1957 (died, 1983); children: John (an actor), Pamela (an actress). Education: Attended Hunter College (now of the City University of New York); trained for the stage with Carli Laklan at American Apprentice Theatre, with Jane Rose and William Hansen at American Actors Company, with Joseph Anthony and Peter Frye at American Theatre Wing, and with Harold Clurman. Religion: Christian Scientist. Avocational Interests: Swimming, singing, reading.

Career: Actress. Robert Shaw Chorale, New York City, singer, first appeared in the sketch production Double Dozen Double Damask Dinner Napkins on a tour of women's clubs, 1940. Actors' Fund of America, member of board of trustees. U.S. Commissioner to the International Women's Year Commission and National Conference of Women, 1977; Emerson College, honorary board member of Center for Women in the Performing Arts; Women's Research and Education Institute, Washington, DC, chairperson of advisory board; Eleanor Roosevelt's ValKill, Hyde Park, NY, member of board of directors; Wonder Woman Foundation, New York City, member of board of directors. Also worked as a secretary.

Member: Actors' Equity Association (council member, 195863), Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Federation of Musicians (honorary member).

Awards, Honors: Emmy Awards, best actress in a comedy series, 1971, 1972, and 1978, Emmy Award nominations, best actress in a comedy series, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, and 1979, Golden Globe Awards, best actress in a musical or comedy series, 1973 and 1974, and Golden Globe Award nominations, best actress in a musical or comedy series, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1979, and 1980, all for All in the Family; Grammy Award nomination, best comedy recording, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1972, for All in the Family; honored by the National Commission of Working Women, 1981, for Isabel's Choice; Emmy Award nomination, best actress in a limited series or special, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a miniseries or television movie, both 1982, for Eleanor, First Lady of the World; Annual Cable Excellence (ACE) Award nomination, for " Grown Ups, " Broadway on Showtime; Humanitarian Award, Women in Film Crystal Awards, 1985; Obie Award, best performance, Village Voice, 1990, for Mountain Language and The Birthday Party; Golden Globe Award nomination, best supporting actress in a series, miniseries, or telefilm, 1991, for Fire in the Dark; ACE Award nomination, 1994, for Mrs. Piggle Wiggle; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, 1995, for Grace under Fire; Lone Star Film & Television Award, best supporting actress, 1997, for Lily Dale; nominee and winner of numerous People's Choice awards; L.H.D., Emerson College; also received honorary degrees from Hood College and Monmouth College.


Stage Appearances:

Mrs. Watty, The Corn Is Green, Equity Library Theatre, New York City, 1948.

(Broadway debut) Inez, In the Summer House, Playhouse Theatre, 1953.

Mother, American Gothic, Circle in the Square Theatre, New York City, 1953.

Sister, Damn Yankees, 46th Street Theatre, New York City, 1955.

Sue, Bells Are Ringing, Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1956.

A Soft Touch, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, 1957.

Swart Petry, A Swim in the Sea, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA, 1958.

Woody, Goodbye, My Fancy, Totem Pole Playhouse, Fayetteville, PA, 1958.

Miss Cooper, Separate Tables, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1958.

Mother, Charm, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1958.

Grace, Bus Stop, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1958.

Madame St. Pe, The Waltz of the Toreadors, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1958.

Sally Adams, Call Me Madam, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1959.

Maisie Madigan, Juno, Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1959.

Laura Partridge, The Solid Gold Cadillac, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1960.

Mrs. Ochs, Rhinoceros, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1961.

Mrs. Keller, The Miracle Worker, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1962.

Emma, Apple in the Attic, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1962.

A Thurber Carnival (revue), Totem Pole Playhouse, 1962.

Title role, Everybody Loves Opal, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1962.

Aunt Eller, Oklahoma!, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1962.

Mrs. Baker, Come Blow Your Horn, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1963.

Mrs. Spofford, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1963.

Nannie, All for Mary, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1963.

Mrs. Strakosh, Funny Girl, Winter Garden Theatre, 1964.

Brewster, A Rainy Day in Newark, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Rosemary, Picnic, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Annabelle, George Washington Slept Here, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Mrs. Walworth, Speaking of Murder, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Mrs. Pearce, My Fair Lady, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Mrs. Yoder, Papa Is All, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Mother Abbess, The Sound of Music, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1964.

Anna Leonowens, The King and I, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Bloody Mary, South Pacific, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Lottie, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Miss Skillon, See How They Run, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Veta Louise, Harvey, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Abby Brewster, Arsenic and Old Lace, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Grace Kimbrough, Never Too Late, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Mother, Enter Laughing, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Anne Michaelson, Take Her, She's Mine, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1965.

Miss Holroyd, Bell, Book, and Candle, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1966.

Mrs. Deazy, Jenny Kissed Me, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1966.

Aunt Kate Barnaby, How Far Is the Barn?, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1966.

Nettie Fowler, Carousel, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1966.

Dorothy, Any Wednesday, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1966.

Dolly Gallagher Levi, Hello Dolly!, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1971.

Southwest Corner, 1971.

Mrs. Baer, Butterflies Are Free, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1972.

Lola, Come Back, Little Sheba, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1972.

Title role, Everybody Loves Opal, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1972.

The Time of the Cuckoo, 1973. Lullaby, 1974.

The Vinegar Tree, 1974.

The Time of the Cuckoo, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 1974.

Title role, The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1975.

Hay Fever, 1976.

The Late Christopher Bean, 1976.

The Reluctant Debutante, 1977.

The ShowOff, 1977.

Title role, Daisy Mayme, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1978.

The Great Sebastian's, 1978.

Little Mary Sunshine, 1978.

Papa Is All, 1979.

Miss Marple, A Murder Is Announced, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1979.

Miss Marple, Murder at the Vicarage, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1981.

Aunt Eller, Oklahoma!, Totem Pole Playhouse, 1981.

The Curious Savage, 1981.

Butterfly Days, 1981.

The Corn Is Green, 1982.

Wardrobe mistress, Parade of Stars Playing the Palace, Palace Theatre, New York City, 1983.

The Late Christopher Bean, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC, 1983.

Ernest in Love, 1983.

The ShowOff, Syracuse Stage, Syracuse, NY, 1983,

then Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ, 1984.

Old woman, Candide, Baltimore Opera Company, Baltimore, MD, 1984.

The Italian Lesson, Baltimore Opera Company, 1985.

Abby Brewster, Arsenic and Old Lace, 46th Street Theatre, 1986.

Julia Child, Bon Appetit, Terrace Theatre, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 1989.

Elderly woman, Mountain Language, Classic Stage Company, CSC Theatre, New York City, 1989.

Meg, The Birthday Party, Classic Stage Company, CSC Theatre, 1989.

Philamente, The Learned Ladies, Classic Stage Company, New York City, 1991.

Mrs. Clancy and Julia Child, Bon Appetit!, 1991.

Romeo and Juliet, The Shakespeare Company, Washington, DC, 1994.

Night Seasons, Signature Theatre, New York City, 1994.

Stepmother, Cinderella (also known as Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella ), New York City Opera, Lincoln Center, New York City, 1995.

Madame Arcati, Blithe Spirit, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Costa Mesa, CA, 1995.

The Matchmaker, American Conservatory Theatre, Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, 1996.

The Entertainer, CSC Theatre, 1996.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor: Her Secret Journey (solo show), Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, 1998.

Curtain Call 2000, Hartford, CT, 2000.

Grace Ann, The Carpetbagger's Children, Mitzi Newhouse Theater, New York City, 2002.

Charles Nelson's Casts and Forecasts, 2002.

Also appeared in Sweeney Todd, San Jose Civic Light Opera; appeared at Peterborough Playhouse, Peterborough, NH, 1941; Chase Barn Playhouse, Whitefield, NH, 19471948; and Pocono Playhouse, Mountain-home, PA, 19511953.

Major Tours:

Myrtle Mae, Harvey, U.S. cities, 19481950.

Mrs. Coffman, Come Back, Little Sheba, U.S. cities, 19501951.

Mrs. Ochs, Rhinoceros, U.S. cities, 1961.

Aary, Morning's at Seven, U.S. cities, 1976.

Title role, Daisy Mayme, U.S. cities, 19791980.

The ShowOff, U.S. cities, 1983.

Clara's Play, U.S. cities, 1983.

Abby Brewster, Arsenic and Old Lace, U.S. cities, 1987.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Eleanor: Her Secret Journey (solo show), U.S. cities, 2000.

Grace Ann, The Carpetbagger's Children, U.S. cities, 2001.

Also appeared as Princess Puffer, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, U.S. cities.

Film Appearances:

(Film debut) Sister Miller, Damn Yankees (also known as What Lola Wants ), Warner Bros., 1958.

Sue, Bells Are Ringing, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1960.

Shirley Johnson, Something Wild, United Artists, 1961.

Sadie Finch, Up the Down Staircase, Warner Bros., 1967.

Mrs. Wrappler, Cold Turkey, United Artists, 1971.

Goldfarb's secretary, Klute, Warner Bros., 1971.

Mrs. Price, The Buddy System, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1984.

Herself, Waiting to Act, 1985.

Landlady, The Trial, Angelika Films, 1993.

Pansy Milbank, Michael, New Line Cinema/Turner Pictures, 1996.

This Is My Father (documentary), Cinema Guild, 1998.

Birdie Conrad, You've Got Mail, Warner Bros., 1998.

Voice of Mrs. Jenkins, Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (animated; also known as Disney's Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and Pocahontas: Journey to a New World ), Walt Disney Home Video, 1998.

Lorraine, Pursuit of Happiness, Showcase Entertainment, 2001.

Television Appearances; Series:

Gwen, Woman with a Past, CBS, 1954.

Edith Bunker, All in the Family (also known as Those Were the Days ), CBS, 19711979.

Edith Bunker, Archie Bunker's Place, 19791980.

Jasmine Zweibel, Bagdad Cafe (also known as Bagdad Gas and Oil ), CBS, 1990.

Title role, Mrs. PiggleWiggle (children's series), Showtime, 1994.

Beakman's mom, Beakman's World, 19951996.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Voice of Edith Wilson, The Great War (also known as The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century ), PBS, 1996.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Mrs. DeCamp, Tail Gunner Joe, NBC, 1977.

Isabel Cooper, Isabel's Choice, CBS, 1981.

Betty Eaton, Angel Dusted (also known as Angel Dust ), NBC, 1981.

Title role, Eleanor, First Lady of the World, CBS, 1982.

Irene Wallin, A Matter of Sex, NBC, 1984.

Ariadne Oliver, Agatha Christie's " Dead Man's Folly " (also known as Dead Man's Folly ), CBS, 1986.

Mother Goose, Mother Goose Rock 'n' Rhyme, The Disney Channel, 1990.

Henny Dutton, Fire in the Dark (also known as Aging Parent ), CBS, 1991.

Leonora Tolliver, " The Habitation of Dragons, " TNT Screenworks, TNT, 1992.

Mildred Mallory, Ghost Mom (also known as Bury Me in Niagara and Bury Me in St. Louis, Louis ), Fox, 1993.

Mrs. Coons, Lily Dale, Showtime, 1996.

Mrs. Duncan, Chance of a Lifetime, CBS, 1998.

Byrd, Baby, TNT, 2000.

Mrs. Irene Silverman, Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes (also known as A Most Deadly Family ), CBS, 2001.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Edith Bunker, Those Were the Days, CBS, 1971.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Marlo Thomas in Acts of LoveAnd Other Comedies, ABC, 1973.

Circus of the Stars, CBS, 1977.

They Said It with Music: Yankee Doodle to Ragtime, 1977.

Cohost (part one), CBS: On the Air, CBS, 1978.

The Stars Salute Israel at Thirty, ABC, 1978.

Penny Sycamore, You Can't Take It with You, CBS, 1979.

Aunt Mary Dobkin (title role), " Aunt Mary, " Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS, 1979.

Herself, Good Evening, Captain, CBS, 1981.

Miss Tweed, Something's Afoot, Showtime, 1982.

Herself, The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, 1982.

Parade of Stars, ABC, 1983.

Josephine, Tender Places, syndicated, 1987.

CBS Comedy Bloopers, CBS, 1990.

The 14th Annual Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 1991.

All in the Family 20th Anniversary Special, CBS, 1991.

(In archive footage) Herself, Funny Women of Television, 1991.

A Birthday Tribute to Julia ChildCompliments to the Chef!, PBS, 1993.

Fifty Years of Television: A Celebration of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Golden Anniversary, HBO, 1997.

Herself, All in the Family: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Isabel Sanford, Lifetime, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Herself, The 31st Annual Tony Awards, 1977.

The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, 1978.

The 6th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame, Fox, 1990.

The 23rd Annual NAACP Image Awards, NBC, 1991.

The 48th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1994.

The 23rd Annual People's Choice Awards, 1997.

Herself, TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV (also known as 1st Annual TV Land Awards ), TV Land, 2003.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

" Storm, " Robert Montgomery Presents, 1952.

Teacher, " A Time for Heroes, " The Lux Video Theatre, 1953.

" A Business Proposition, " Philco Television Playhouse (also known as Goodyear Television Theater ), NBC, 1955.

True Story, NBC, 1960.

" The End of the Beginning, " Robert Herridge Theater, CBS, 1960.

" Bullets Cost Too Much, " Naked City, ABC, 1961.

Nurse Whitney, " The Patient, " Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1961.

" Mr. Wilson's Housekeeper, " Dennis the Menace, CBS, 1962.

" The Multiplicity of Herbert Konish, " Naked City, ABC, 1962.

Mrs. Montgomery, " The Barbara Bowers Story, " The Nurses, CBS, 1962.

" The Hidden Jungle, " The Defenders, CBS, 1962.

" Je t'adore Muldoon, " Car 54, Where Are You?, NBC, 1962.

" The Highest of Prizes, " Naked City, ABC, 1963.

Rosa Criley, " The Bride Wore Pink, " Eleventh Hour, NBC, 1963.

" 93 Percent in Smiling, " Route 66, CBS, 1963.

Molly Dunbar, " The People's House, " My Three Sons, ABC, 1964.

Mrs. Pollack, " The Raffle, " The Patty Duke Show, ABC, 1965.

Rowan & Martin's LaughIn (also known as LaughIn ), NBC, 1972.

The Carol Burnett Show, CBS, 1975.

Cher, 1975.

Saturday Night Live, NBC, 1976.

Herself, The Muppet Show, 1978.

Judith Klammerstadt, " A Girl Like Edith, " All in the Family (also known as Justice for All ), CBS, 1979.

Ogress, " Jack and the Beanstalk, " Faerie Tale Theatre, Showtime, 1983.

Lady Emily Farnsworth, " The Legend of Das Gersterschloss (The Ghost Castle), " Scarecrow and Mrs. King, CBS, 1984.

Lady Emily Farnsworth, " The Three Wishes of Emily, " Scarecrow and Mrs. King, CBS, 1984.

Fairy Godmother, " Cinderella, " Faerie Tale Theatre, Showtime, 1985.

Helen, " Grown Ups, " Broadway on Showtime, Showtime, 1985, then Great Performances, PBS, 1986.

Widow, " Egyptian Cruise: Parts 1 & 2, " The Love Boat, ABC, 1986.

" Margaret Fuller, " An American Portrait, CBS, 1986.

We the People (documentary), CBS, 1986.

Edna, " The Boss, " Trying Times, PBS, 1989.

Helen, " Let Me Hear You Whisper, " American Playwrights Theatre: The One Acts, Arts and Entertainment, 1990.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1990.

Narrator, " Elizabeth and Larry, " Shelly Duvall's Bedtime Stories, Showtime, 1992.

Grandma, " Fee Fie Foe Fum, " The Ray Bradbury Theatre, 1992.

Emilie, " The Parallax Garden, " General Motors Playwrights Theater, Arts and Entertainment, 1993.

Aunt Vivian, " The Road to Paris, Texas, " Grace under Fire, ABC, 1994.

Aunt Mary Kosky, " Caroline and the Opera, " Caroline in the City, NBC, 1995.

Nana Silverberg, " All in the Family, " Murphy Brown, 1996.

Aunt Alda, " I Wish I Was Gus, " Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 1996.

Gloria Utley, " A Recipe for Disaster, " Style and Substance, CBS, 1998.

Emma, " Mother's Day, " Touched by an Angel, CBS, 2000.

Also appeared in Armstrong Circle Theatre, NBC; Camera Three, CBS; Danger, CBS; The Jackie Gleason Show, CBS; The Mike Douglas Show, ABC; Omnibus, CBS; The Sonny and Cher Show, CBS; Studio One, CBS; and Today Is Ours, NBC.



(With others) Edith Bunker, All in the Family, Atlantic,
c. 1972.


A Simple Matter of Justice (documentary), Films, Inc., 1978.

Narrator, A Place for the Spirit (documentary), John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 1985.

Video Games:

Grandma Ollie's Morphabet Soup, 1996.



TV Guide, June 11, 1994, p. 28.

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