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Broadway community to honor Jean Stapleton

June 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, June 4 (UPI) -- Broadway theater marquee lights will be dimmed in honor of actress Jean Stapleton, who died last week at the age of 90, organizers announced.

The minute-long tribute is to take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

"The theater is where Jean Stapleton started, and she often returned to the stage throughout her lengthy and multifaceted career. While we all feel like we knew her, thanks to her iconic television role playing Edith Bunker in 'All in the Family,' the Broadway community claims her as one of our family," Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, said in a statement Tuesday. "Her decades portraying a variety of roles on our Broadway and off-Broadway stages revealed her brilliance in believably playing many different characters. The range of her talent was also evident in that she could triumph in both musical comedies and serious dramas. She will be missed."

Stapleton began her career in summer stock theater and went on to become an accomplished actress. She was in the original casts of "Bells are Ringing" in the 1950s and "Funny Girl," with Barbra Streisand, in the 1960s. Her other Broadway credits include "In the Summer House," "Damn Yankees," "Rhinoceros," "Juno" and "Arsenic & Old Lace."

Stapleton was married to William Putch from 1956 until his death in 1983. Putch operated the Totem Pole Playhouse in Pennsylvania where Stapleton performed for more than 20 years.

The actress is survived by their two children and several grandchildren.

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