All in the Family
Two time Emmy Award winning actress Sally Struthers is widely recognized for playing Archie Bunker's daughter, Gloria Bunker-Stivic , on the groundbreaking television sitcom “ All in the Family,” a post she had from 1971 to 1978. She picked up Golden Globe nominations and her Emmy Awards for the role and later reprised it in the short loved spin off series “Gloria” (CBS, 1982-1983). Her other TV credits include a regular role on “Nine to Five” (1986-1988) as well as recurring roles in “Gilmore Girls” (2000-2006) and “Still Standing” (2003-2006). Struthers has also appeared in several TV films and movies, done a number of voice overs, and starred in various stage productions.
Struthers has one daughter, Samantha Rader, with her ex-husband, William Rader, whom she married from 1977 to 1983. She was long time television spokesperson for the Christian Children's Fund.
Childhood and Family:
Sally Anne Struthers, whose nickname is Little Girl, was born on July 28, 1947, in Portland, Oregon, to Margaret Caroline (née Jernes) and Robert Alden Struthers, who was a surgeon. She attended Grant High School in Portland and pursued an acting career after high school. She later trained at the celebrated Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts in Los Angeles, where she earned a scholarship as the most promising first year student. She completed her training in 1967.
On December 18, 1977, Sally married a psychiatrist, Dr. William C. Rader, but they later divorced on January 18, 1983. The marriage produced a child, daughter Samantha Rader (born on May 18, 1979). Her daughter graduated from Vassar College in June 2001 with a degree in Cognitive Science.
Nine to Five
Sally Struthers left home at age 18 to try her luck in Los Angeles. After honing her craft at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, she performed concisely in regional stock plays before enjoying success as both a dancer and commercial actress on television. Struthers had her TV debut as a regular on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” (1968), a CBS comedy and variety show hosted by the Smothers Brothers. She went on to play a regular on the variety and sketch comedy show “The Tim Conway Comedy Hour” (CBS, 1970). Also in 1970, Struthers made her feature acting debut in the comedy film “The Phynx,” about a rock and roll band named The Phynx and their mission in foreign affairs. It was followed by a supporting role, as Betty, in “Five Easy Pieces” (1970), a drama directed and co-written by Bob Rafelson and starring Jack Nicholson and Karen Black.
It was while dancing on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” that producer Norman Lear spotted Struthers and then cast her in her breakout role of Gloria Bunker Stivic on the television sitcom “All in the Family” (CBS), opposite Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton and Rob Reiner. Debuted on CBS on January 12, 1971, the series topped the Nielsen ratings for five consecutive years from 1971 to 1976, making it the first television series to do so. Struthers remained with the show until December 1978, four months before the show ended on April 8, 1979. During her her seven season stint as Gloria, the actress was nominated for five Emmy Awards, winning two in the categories of Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy (1972) and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series (1979), as well as four Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actress – Television.
While working on the show, Struthers kept on busy working on other projects. She provided the voice of Pebbles Flinstone on the Saturday morning animated series “The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show” (CBS, 1971-1972), a spin off of “The Flintstones,” co-starred with Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson and Al Lettieri in the Sam Peckinpah helmed action/crime film “The Getaway” (1972) and made her TV movie debut as Sara Moore in “Aloha Means Goodbye” (CBS, 1974), opposite Russell Johnson. She next starred in such TV films as “Hey, I'm Alive” ( ABC, 1975), “The Great Houdini” (1975, as Bess Houdini), “Intimate Strangers” (ABC, 1977) and “My Husband Is Missing” (1978) as well as contributing voices to the syndicated animated series “Fred Flintstone and Friends” (1977).
In 1979, Struthers reprised the role of Gloria in a two part episode of the spin off series “Archie Bunker's Place” called “ Thanksgiving Reunion.” She later returned for the 1982 episodes “Gloria Comes Home Part 1 and 2” before eventually starring in “Gloria,” which was the spin off of Archie Bunker's Place.” “Gloria” lasted only one season from September 26, 1982 to April 10, 1983. After “Gloria,” she played the regular role of Marsha McMurray Shrimpton on the syndicated series “Nine to Five” from 1986 to 1988. Struthers continued to work in several television films like “...And Your Name Is Jonah” (1979), “ A Gun in the House” (1981), “Alice in Wonderland” (1985), “ The GLO Friends Save Christmas” (1985) and “ A Deadly Silence” (1989).
Meanwhile, on stage, Struthers hit Broadway with “Wally's Cafe” in 1981. She returned four years later with a female version of “The Odd Couple” on Broadway, in which she portrayed neat freak Florence Ungar, opposite Rita Moreno's slovenly Olive Madison. The play was directed by Gene Saks and ran for 295 performances.
From 1990 to 1991, Struthers voiced Rebecca 'Becky' Cunningham in the animated TV series “TaleSpin,” also starring the voices of Ed Gilbert and R. J. Williams. Her voice could also be heard in the series “Yo Yogi!” (1991) and “Dinosaurs” (1991-1995, as Charlene Sinclair) as well as episodes of “Fish Police” (1992), “ Tiny Toon Adventures” (1992), “Tom & Jerry Kids Show” (1993), “ Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man” (1994) and “The Wild Thornberrys” (1998). Struthers made guest appearances in the television series “Sister Kate” (1990, as Mrs. Newberry) and “Murder, She Wrote” (1990, as Nancy La Rue). She narrated the TV film “ The Tin Soldier” (1992), played Patty Pepper in the fact based TV film “In the Best Interest of the Children” (NBC, 1992), about s a woman struggling with manic-depression while raising her five children (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and had the title role on the Daytime Emmy nominated telepic “The New Adventures of Mother Goose” (1995). She returned to features by playing the supporting role of Mrs. Zelov in the 1997 drama/thriller “The Others,” starring Jennifer Aspen, Derrex Brady and Bodhi Elfman and written and directed by Travis Fine. On stage, Struthers joined the national tour production of the revival of the hit musical “Grease” in the role of Miss Lynch. The show opened in September 1994 in New Haven, Connecticut, and ran for several years. She also played the role on Broadway in 1996. The actress also played the evil Miss Hannigan in a 20th anniversary Broadway revival called “ Annie, the 20th Anniversary” (1998), replacing Nell Carter.
Entering the new millennium, Struthers began the recurring role of Babette Dell on the comedy/drama series “Gilmore Girls,” which ran on the The WB from 2000 to 2006 and then The CW from 2006 to 2007. In 2002, she played psycho Jennifer Smith in the daytime drama “General Hospital,” and from 2003 to 2006, she played the recurring role of Louise Miller on the CBS sitcom “Still Standing,” starring Mark Addy, Jami Gertz, Jennifer Irwin, Taylor Ball, Renee Olstead and Soleil Borda. She also guest starred in several TV shows like “As Told by Ginger” (2002, as the voice of Mrs. Bigsby), “ Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” (2003, as Aunt Lorraine), “The Division” (2003, as Eve Warner) and “ Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures” (2007, as the voice of Mrs. O'Connor). Struthers was cast alongside Sally Kirkland, Tyler Christopher and Jason Widener in the award winning drama film “Out of the Black” (2001), again with Kirkland in Stewart Raffill's drama, “A Month of Sundays” (2001), and with Johnny Galecki, Soren Fulton and Josh Hutcherson in the made for TV film “Becoming Glen” (2002). She also landed roles in the films “Reeseville” (2003), “Baadasssss!” (2003), “Hoodwinked!” (2005) and “What I Did for Love” (2006, TV). She portrayed Kripta in the comedy film “Monster Heroes” (2010), which was directed by and starred Danny Cistone.
Struthers returned to the stage by performing in a production of “ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 2006. It was followed with roles in stage productions like “Hello, Dolly!” (2006, as Dolly), “The Full Monty” (2007, as Jeanette), “Fiddler on the Roof” (2008, as Golde), “Annie” (2008, as Miss Hannigan), “Nunsense” (2008, as Mother Superior), “ Always ... Patsy Cline” (2009, as Cline's best friend), “ All Shook Up” (2009, as Mayor), “The Full Monty” (2010, as Jeanette), “Love Letters” (2010, as Melissa Gardner), “Cinderella” (2010, as The Fairy Godmother) and “Chicago (2010, as Mama Morton).
Recently, in 2011, Struthers portrayed Dolly Levi in a production of “Hello, Dolly!” at the Riverside Dinner Theatre, and Paulette Bonafonté in “Legally Blonde” at Ogunquit Playhouse. . Besides, she reprised the role of Miss Hannigan in a production of “Annie” at the Cabrillo Music Theatre.
Struthers has completed filming the role of Sally in the upcoming comedy/musical film “Hollywood Musical!” (2011), helmed and written by the film's star Alexander Baack.
Emmy: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Comedy-Variety or Music Series, “All in the Family,” 1979
Emmy: Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Comedy, “All in the Family,” 1972