Alberta Cifolelli Remembers Jean Stapleton

The death of Jean Stapleton — best known as Edith Bunker in “All in the Family,” but also a noted actress with a  long career in film and on stage (including the Westport Country Playhouse) — was of more than passing interest to Alberta Cifolelli.

The Westport artist was Jean’s cousin by marriage.

Alberta Cifolelli (left) and Jean Stapleton, at an exhibit of Alberta's artwork.

Alberta Cifolelli (left) and Jean Stapleton, at a 50-year retrospective of Alberta’s work.

Today, Alberta told “06880”:

Jean was someone I wanted to be. Not just that she was a great actor, but she was a woman with integrity, and very ethical. I think she brought much of that to her character of Edith Bunker, who always figured out the correct side of issues.

Jean lived her life with the highest standards and a true commitment to her craft as an actor. I knew her well and loved her a lot.

Everyone knows about her huge talent. It never took up much space when we were together. She was always interested in others. She was — for a great person — the least narcissistic. She showed me how to handle the stress of making art, and what really mattered. I shall always think of her when I am dealing with the creative process.

She was born in the theater; it was her life and who she was. In time we shall all come to understand what a great actor/mother/wife/ person she was.

2 responses to “Alberta Cifolelli Remembers Jean Stapleton

  1. Lisa Fleming

    I was a Staples Player who loved the opportunity to be a WCP usher during the summer season in the 1980’s. The weekend that Jean Stapleton performed in a play, we (ushers) were briefed that Caroll O’Connor would be attending the performance that evening. Kind of a surreal evening, even for a teen.