All In the Family

The Show “All In The Family”, Cast, Pictures, and Trivia!

This series centers on the life of working-class, World War II veteran, Archie Bunker, (Carroll O’Connor)


His wife, Edith, (Jean Stapleton) daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and her husband, Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner). They all live in one house together in the middle-class neighborhood of Astoria, which is located in Queens, New York, and have countless disagreements, differences of opinion and just plain fights.

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Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor)-Archie Bunker is a blue-collar worker and veteran of World War II, who is an outspoken bigot and ostensibly prejudiced against any person who does not agree with him when it comes to world views, was not born in the United States, is not heterosexual or politically conservative. He is a complex man who also has great prejudice against communists, African-Americans, Jews, “women’s libbers”, Catholics and Polish-Americans. He is constantly wishing that the world was still being run by people that agree with and share his point of view. He is stubborn, ignorant, bad-tempered and definitely not a fan of more modern views or thoughts. Yet despite all of these obvious personality flaws and rather unusual character traits, Archie is actually a decent man who truly loves his family.  

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Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton)-Edith Bunker is the sweet and dedicated wife of Archie Bunker. Despite her husband’s many character flaws and unusual personality, she is completely loyal to her husband, as well as very much in love with him. They have one child together, a daughter named Gloria and a son-in-law named Michael Stivic. Edith tends to be the buffer between Archie and the “children” when necessary and though she seems to be somewhat slow at times, she is also very wise about people and the world. Some of the things she is best known for is her incredibly shrill voice, the pronunciation of her husband’s name as “Ahchie” (or soon after the show began, “Awwwchie”) and the fact that she always seems to be running around the house doing everything for everyone at top speed, so that they never have to wait for anything that they may be wanting or needing.  

All In The Family: The Complete Series on DVD

Gloria Stivic (Sally Struthers)-Gloria is the daughter and only child of Archie and Edith Bunker and the wife of liberal college student, Michael Stivic. Rather sheltered as a child, due in part to the fact that she was diagnosed with anemia when she was young, Gloria comes to realize after meeting and marrying Michael that her parents were not correct about a number of issues and begins to side with her husband and his liberal views. She is constantly being put in the middle of arguments between her father and husband, which happens often, since the young couple is actually living with her parents. They later move into the house next door, where Gloria basically earns all the money for two to live on, despite having dropped out of high school at age 16. She later has a son named, Joey and becomes a stay-at-home mother.

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Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner)-Michael is the liberal husband of Gloria and the son-in-law of Edith and Archie Bunker. Orphaned when he was just a boy after his parents were killed in a car accident, Michael is Polish-American and from Chicago and was raised by his ex-Marine uncle, Casimir Stivic. He gets along quite well with Edith and addresses her as “Ma”, however, his relationship with his father-in-law is not so easy or pleasant and he refers to him as either “Archie or Arch”. Archie in turn, refers to his son-in-law as simply, “Meathead”. Michael is a representative of the counterculture of the 1960′s for the most part, although when it comes to being a male chauvinist, he does display this characteristic from time to time. He wants to help change the world and is a staunch and loyal humanitarian but he also is somewhat demanding and at times acts in a rather superior manner.

Stephanie Mills (Danielle Brisebois)-Stephanie is the grandniece of Edith, who is taken in by the Bunkers after she is abandoned on their doorstep by her alcoholic father. Archie is not thrilled with the idea of taking the young girl in at first, especially as he was looking forward to a little peace and quiet since Gloria and Michael had recently moved to California. He does, however, learn to love her like his own daughter and she in turn loves him and Edith as well.

My Opinion

This show is funny and original with just the right amount of seriousness added in. The actors were wonderful in their roles and provided many years of entertainment. I give this series 8 out of 10.

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The Cast

Archie Bunker-Carroll O’ Connor
Edith Bunker-Jean Stapleton
Gloria Stivic-Sally Struthers
Michael Stivic-Rob Reiner
Stephanie Mills-Danielle Brisebois

Recurring Cast

Lionel Jefferson-Mike Evans
Louise Jefferson-Isabel Stanford
George Stanford-Sherman Helmsley
Barney Hefner-Allan Melvin
Harry Snowden-Jason WIngreen
Irene Lorenzo-Betty Garrett
Hank Pivnik-Danny Dayton
Tommy Kelsey-Bob Hastings
Bert Munson-Billy Halop
Frank Lorenzo-Vincent Gardenia
Henry Jefferson-Mel Stewart
Teresa Betancourt-Liz Torres
Carlos-Andre Pavon
Joseph Sanders-Sorrell Booke
Justin Quigley-Burt Mustin
Bailiff-Billy Sands
Joe Foleyh-Scott Brady
Mildred “Boom Boom” Turner-Gloria LeRoy
Bertha-Peggy Rea
Bartender-Brendan Dillon
Bernice-Priscilla Morrill
Blanche Hefner-Estelle Parsons
Rev. Chong-Clyde Kusatsu
Denise-Janis Paige

Pinky Peterson-Eugene Roche
Claire Packer-Barbara Cason
Beverly La Salle-Lori Shannon
Gordie Lloyd-Dennis Patrick
Dave-Sandy Kenyon
Stretch Cunningham-James Cromwell
Father John Majeski-Bernard Hughes
Dr. Dolby-Michael Mann
D.A.-Charles Siebert
Nurse-Tracy Bogart
Mr. Van Ranseleer-Bill Quinn
Josephine “Jo” Nelson-Ruth McDevitt

All in the Family

Trivia

Carroll O’Connor (Archie Bunker) was ranked on TV Guide’s list of “50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time” at #38.

The part of Michael “Meathead” Stivic was actually offered to famed actor, Harrison Ford at one point. Ford, however, turned the part down because he felt that the character of Archie Bunker was too offensive with his bigotry.

Jean Stapleton (Edith Bunker) died in May of 2013, of natural causes at the age of 90. Shortly after Stapleton’s death, on June 5, 2013, at 8:00 p.m., the lights on Broadway were dimmed for one minute to honor her memory.

On TV Guide’s list of “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time”, #13 is the episode on All in the Family, entitled “Sammy’s Visit”. Famed actor, Sammy Davis, Jr. plays himself in this episode and has to go to Archie’s house to pick up his briefcase. After Davis hears some racist remarks that are made by Archie, he then requests a picture with him. Just as the photograph is snapped, Davis leans over and kisses Archie on the cheek. The audience laughter lasted for such a long period of time that the episode could not be broadcast until it had been severely edited.

Rob Reiner’s (Michael Stivic) father is well known actor, producer, writer and comedian, Carl Reiner.

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All in the Family was the first television show to be shot in front of a primetime audience.

Sally Struthers (Gloria Bunker Stivic) was a long-time spokesperson for the Christians Children’s Fund.

Carroll O’Connor enrolled at Wake Forest University in 1941, however, due to the United States entering World War II, he then tried to enroll in the United States Navy, and he was rejected and instead ended up serving for six years in the United States Merchant Marines.

It is worth mentioning that the series, All in the Family, was the first place in prime time television that you were able to hear the sound of a toilet flushing.

All_in_the_family_propsThe easy-chairs used by Archie and Edith Bunker on the series, are now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Amazingly, these two chairs were purchased for the show from a Goodwill thrift store for hardly any money at all. Later, after giving the chairs to the Smithsonian, it actually cost the producers several thousand dollars to then replace and re-create the originals for the continuation of the show.

Danielle Brisebois (Stephanie Mills) ranked #50 on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest Kid Stars”.

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Jean Stapleton and her husband, William Putch, were married for 26 years until his death in 1983. They had two children.

Rob Reiner co-founded his own production company in 1987, called Castle Rock Entertainment. Reiner directed several Oscar-nominated films through Castle Rock Entertainment, some of these would include: “When Harry Met Sally”, “A Few Good Men” and “Misery”.

Despite the conservative views that the character of Archie Bunker was famous for, Carroll O’ Connor’s personal views were actually just the opposite and very liberal.

Carroll O’Connor died on the same day as blues legend, John Lee Hooker. In a strange twist of fate, their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are right beside each other.

Rob Reiner, who played Michael Stivic, began to lose his hair at a rapid pace, even before the debut of the series which left him with only one option at the time. About halfway through the show’s first season, he began to wear a hairpiece.

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Rob Reiner co-founded the American Foundation For Equal Rights.

Archie Bunker always wore his wedding band on his left middle finger.

Despite the antagonistic roles that Carroll O’Connor and Rob Reiner played on the show, they actually became best friends in real life. Reiner also became O’Connor’s favorite actor.

Jean Stapleton was offered the role of Jessica Fletcher in the series “Murder She Wrote“, but turned it down. The role went to actress Angela Lansbury.

Actress and now famous director, Penny Marshall, was at one time considered for the role of Gloria on All in the Family, as she was then married to Michael Stivic actor, Rob Reiner.

All in the Family was actually in danger of being cancelled due to low ratings after its first season but became a huge hit during the summer re-run period of 1971. It was then renewed by CBS for a second season and the rest is history.

All in the Family was the first television show that managed to earn Emmy’s for every one of its main cast members.

Rob Reiner co-wrote the very first episode of the television series, “Happy Days“.

The pilot episode of the series, All in the Family, developed by CBS, was not the first pilot in the series. There were actually two other pilots, however, they were both developed by ABC and had different actors playing the parts of Gloria and Michael both times.

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Carroll O’Connor’s son Hugh, whom he and his wife, Nancy, adopted when he was only six days old, committed suicide in 1995 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Even more sadly, Hugh was on the telephone with his father at the time of his death. He had battled an addiction to drugs for many years and after his death, O’Connor spent the rest of his life dedicating his time and effort toward raising awareness about drug addiction. He also lobbied to get the State of California to pass legislation that would allow family members of an addicted person or anyone who has been hurt or injured by the actions of a drug dealer, employers included, to sue for reimbursement for the costs of rehabilitation and medical treatment, as well as other economic and non-economic damages. The law went into effect in 1997 and was called, the “Drug Dealer Civil Liability Act in California”, although it is also often referred to as the Hugh O’Connor Memorial Law.

Jean Stapleton received an honorary degree from Wilson College, as well as had a scholarship named after her.

This was the very first series that was shot not on film but on videotape.

On TV Guide’s list of “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time”, All in the Family was fourth.

Sally Struthers is only 5′ 1″ inch tall, although she tended to wear heels while working on the show.

So popular was the All in the Family series, that it had a total of five different spin-offs. These included, “Archie Bunker’s Place”, “The Jeffersons”, “Maude”, “Gloria” and “704 Hauser Street”. In addition, there were also two spin-offs from two of the spin-offs and they were, “Checking In”, (spun-off of The Jeffersons) and “Good Times” (spun-off of Maude). In fact, this series was so popular, that it has had the most spin-offs of any prime-time series on television to date.

On TV Guide’s List of “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time”, the character of Archie Bunker came in at #24.

The series was set in a Queen’s neighborhood called Astoria. Carroll O’Connor, who is actually a native of Queens from Forest Hills, gave many suggestions to the writers about locations they could use in order to make the setting of the series more realistic.

Carroll O’Connor didn’t begin to act on television until he was 36 years old.

In 2006, Rob Reiner was put out there as a possible candidate to run against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but decided against it.

On TV Guide’s List of “TV’s 20 Top Catchphrases”, Archie’s famous line, “Stifle, Edith!” was ranked #12.

The idea to call Michael Stivic “Meathead” actually came from Norman Lear’s past. When Lear was just a child, his father used to call him by that nickname.

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Jean Stapleton was a firm women’s rights activist as well as a liberal Democrat.

Danielle Brisebois is married and has twin daughters who were born in December of 2013.

Carroll O’Connor and his wife, Nancy, were married for what would be just a few short weeks shy of 50 years. Sadly, O’Connor died due to a heart attack, on June 21, 2001. The couple’s 50th wedding anniversary would have been July 28, 2001.

All in the Family was the first series on television to rank on the yearly Nielsen ratings at #1 for five years in a row. This achievement was not reached again until the incredibly popular NBC series; “The Cosby Show” debuted nearly a decade later. There has only been one other series since “The Cosby Show” to hit this milestone and that was “American Idol”.

Although the outside of the house shown in the opening credits is actually a home that is located in Glendale, Queens, New York (89-70 Cooper Avenue), the inside of the house was just a set.

Sally Struthers played the role of Gloria Bunker Stivic on not one, but three different television shows. These included, “All in the Family”, “Archie Bunker’s Place” and “Gloria”.

Rob Reiner grew up living directly across the street from Penny Marshall’s house in the Bronx. Years later, Marshall became his first wife.

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Carroll O’Connor’s funeral Mass was attended by all the main cast members of All in the Family except for Jean Stapleton, who could not attend the service due to a stage production performance commitment. All in the Family producer Norman Lear was in attendance as well. Additionally, O’Connor’s best friend since 1959, Larry Hagman and his family were there, along with the surviving cast of “In the Heat of the Night”. His eulogy was delivered by actor, Martin Sheen.

 

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