TV Trivia: All in the Family

Q1. What was the first of the five new television shows were spin-offs from CBS’ hit show & baby boomer television favourite, All in the Family?

Q2. In October 1977, All in the Family was the first-ever television show to depict the brutal attempted rape of a major character – Edith Bunker (played by Jean Stapleton, then 54) – in a special 1 hour episode. What was the notable occasion taking place in the Bunker household during that same episode? 

Below, the All in the Family regular cast members in 1973, clockwise from top left: Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker; Mike Evans as Lionel Jefferson, Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker, Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic, and Sally Struthers as Gloria Bunker Stivic.

all in the family 1973 cast, boomer tv trivia, baby boomer television, carroll o'conor, archie bunker, jean stapleton, edith bunker, sally struthers, gloria bunker, rob reiner, michael stivic, mike evans, lionel jefferson, emmy awards, 1970s sitcoms, 1970s television comedy series (All in the Family Cast 1973 Photo: CBS Television | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

All told in it’s 8 year run, All in the Family (Photo: CBS TV) won 22 Emmy Awards (55 nominations). After All in the Family ended in 1979, the core stars all continued to have highly successful careers.

jean stapleton 1977, american actress, 1970s television series, 1970s sitcoms, all in the family, edith bunkerJean Stapleton won 3 Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy Awards (comedy series) for her portrayal of Edith on All in the Family.

During the first season of the sequel/continuation Archie Bunker’s Place, Jean Stapleton was written out at her request (Edith died of a stroke).

In her senior years, Jean Stapleton continued to act on stage, television and movies into her late 70’s.

She passed away in 2013 at age 90, survived by her two children.

(Jean Stapleton 1977 Photo: ABC Television | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Multi-talented and real-life liberal Carroll O’Connor played the family patriarch and bigot, Archie Bunker. O’Connor won 4 Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy Awards (comedy series) for his work on All in the Family. By the time the show ended in 1979 O’Connor was in his late 50’s and nowhere near done with his career. He went on to star in television’s In the Heat of the Night, 1988-1995 (he also directed, produced, and wrote some episodes), for which he won another Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy (drama series). As an older senior in his seventies, Carroll O’Connor continued to act, did PSA’s for drug addiction (his adopted son Hugh died from an overdose in 1995 after a long addiction); taught screenwriting, and started an auto restoration business. Carroll O’Connor died at age 76 in 2001.

Below, Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, and guest star James Reare on All in the Family in 1973.

all in the family 1973, carroll oconnor, archie bunker, jean stapleton, edith bunker, guest star james oreare, 1970s television series, 1970s sitcoms (All in the Family 1973 Photo: CBS TV | Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Sally Struthers (Gloria Bunker) won Outstanding Supporting Actress Emmy’s for All in the Family. She continues to act (and sing) and has appeared on television shows (Gilmore Girls) and stage plays; she is well known for her activist work, supporting the cause of helping children in poor countries. Now a senior citizen (she was born in 1947), in April 2015 Sally Struthers is starring as Dolly Levi in the 50th anniversary tour of Hello Dolly!

Rob Reiner (Michael Stivic, Gloria’s boyfriend and eventually her husband) won two Emmy Awards for his acting work on the show. He turned to directing in the 80’s when the show ended and has been critically and commercially successful with movies such as Stand by Me (1986), The Princess Bride (1987) etc. Rob Reiner established his own company Castle Rock Entertainment (A Few Good Men and other movies) and continues to act, direct, and produce today as a senior citizen, at age 68.

all in the family house, archie bunkers place house, 704 hauser st house, 1970s television series, 1970s sitcomsA1. Edith’s cousin Maude Findlay (who hated Archie), played by Bea Arthur, starred in her own series Maude from 1972-1978. The other spin-offs were

  • The Jefferson’s (1975-1985) with Sherman Hemsley playing the Bunker’s former neighbour George Jefferson
  • 1982-1983’s Gloria, starring Sally Struthers and continuing with a new life for Gloria as a vet assistant.
  • Archie Bunker’s Place, a continuation of the All in the Family show but with a different name, from 1979-1983.
  • And in 1994, 704 Houser (the Bunker’s former home) now with a black family in place.

Right, the house shown in the opening sequence for All in the Family, with the fictitious address given as 704 Houser St. (Photo: Peter Greenberg | Wikimedia CC 3.0)

A2. Edith’s 50th Birthday had all the Bunkers (except Edith) busy preparing a surprise party for Edith; all the while a man (played by a 32 year old David Dukes) who had posed as a police detective, tried to rape Edith in the living room. She eventually was saved when a burning cake in the kitchen oven gave her the opportunity to shove the cake in her attacker’s face. This episode has been shown by the NYPD and some rape crisis centres as a portrayal of rape from a woman’s point of view. Video clip below.


Anita Hamilton

50+ World editor & baby boomer writer Anita Hamilton has always been interested in the "real people" stories behind the characters that create and inhabit the world of music, books, movies, television shows, current events, history, etc. A lifelong love of research (ok, nosiness) and writing, combined with a loving and supportive family complete with 3 mini-dachshund minions, keeps her busy.

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