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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 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.

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