Struthers at the Filmex Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, November 1981
|Born||Sally Ann Struthers
July 28, 1947
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Known for||All in the Family|
|Spouse(s)||William Rader (divorced)|
Sally Ann Struthers (born July 28, 1947) is an American actress and spokeswoman, best known for her roles as Gloria Stivic on All in the Family, for which she won two Emmy awards, and as Babette on Gilmore Girls. She was the voice of Charlene Sinclair on the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs and Rebecca Cunningham on the Disney animated series TaleSpin.
Sally Struthers was born in Portland, Oregon, one of two children, with sister Sue, of Margaret Caroline (née Jernes) and Robert Alden Struthers, a surgeon who left the family when Sally was 9 or 10 years old. Her maternal grandparents were Norwegian immigrants. Struthers married William C. Rader, a psychiatrist. They had one child together, Samantha Struthers Rader, before their divorce.
Struthers moved quickly into stardom between the late 1960s and early 1970s. In Five Easy Pieces (1970) she was in a nude sex scene with Jack Nicholson, but achieved fame as Gloria Stivic on the 1970s sitcom, All in the Family. Producer Norman Lear found the actress dancing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, a counterculture variety show whose writing staff included Rob Reiner. According to a WPTT radio interview with Doug Hoerth in 2003, Struthers thought that Reiner's then-fiancée and later wife, Penny Marshall, would get the role of Gloria, as Marshall resembled Jean Stapleton, who played Edith Bunker. Actress Candice Azzara had played the role of Gloria in a pilot episode, but was soon dropped. After a shaky start, the series became a hit beginning with its summer reruns, giving tens of millions of viewers the chance to see "Gloria" defending her liberal viewpoints about negative stereotypes and inequality. Struthers won two Emmy Awards (in 1972 and 1979) for her work on the show.
In 2012, Struthers recalled the serendipity that helped her land the role:
I had just gotten let go from The Tim Conway Comedy Hour because the suits in New York said that I made the show look cheap. And the producer said, "That's the whole point, we're trying to make it look like the Conway show doesn't have a budget, has no money, and so that's why there's only one Tim Conway dancer instead of a line of them like the June Taylor Dancers on The Jackie Gleason Show, and there's only one musician, and they can't even afford an instrument for him, so he's standing at a music stand, humming the opening theme song." That's funny! And the suits said, "No, it makes the show look cheap." So they let me, the Tim Conway dancer, go. And if they hadn't done that, I wouldn't have been free to read for "All in the Family."
On the short-lived Archie Bunker's Place spin-off Gloria (1982–1983), Struthers reprised Gloria as a new divorcee (she became an "exchange student", when husband Mike exchanged her for one of his students). The series co-starred Burgess Meredith as the doctor of an animal clinic with Gloria as his assistant.
She was a semi-regular panelist on the 1990 revival of Match Game. She also was an occasional celebrity guest on Win, Lose or Draw, even once guest hosting the NBC daytime version. She also had a recurring role as Bill Miller's manipulative mother, Louise, on the CBS sitcom Still Standing and regularly appeared on Gilmore Girls as Babette Dell. Struthers provided voices for a number of animated series such as The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (as a teenage Pebbles Flintstone), TaleSpin (as Rebecca Cunningham) and was one of the voice stars on ABC's Dinosaurs produced by Walt Disney and Henson Productions (as Charlene Sinclair).
Struthers starred in the stage production of "Annie" at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and has been a regular since the early 2000s at the Ogunquit Playhouse, in Ogunquit, Maine, where in 2012 she performed in Always, Patsy Cline, as Louise Segar, and 9 to 5: The Musical, as Roz Klein. She was arrested on September 12, 2012, in Ogunquit on a charge of operating under the influence, posting $160 bail and being scheduled for a court appearance on December 14. In Sep. 2013 she arranged a plea deal for 'driving to endanger' and paid $1,210 in fines and fees.
She has been a spokesperson for Christian Children's Fund (later renamed ChildFund), advocating on behalf of impoverished children in developing countries, mainly in Africa, and has been the spokesperson for International Correspondence Schools in television ads, pitching the famous line "Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do!". Her activism has been satirized in Episode 19 of the seventh season of Grey's Anatomy, 3 Episodes of In Living Color Season 3 Episodes 6 & 18 and Season 4 Episode 27, and in the South Park Episodes "Starvin' Marvin", and "Starvin' Marvin in Space".
- The Tim Conway Comedy Hour (1970)
- The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
- The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971–1972)
- All in the Family (1971–1978)
- Aloha Means Goodbye (1974)
- Hey, I'm Alive (1975)
- The Great Houdini (1976)
- Intimate Strangers (1977)
- Fred Flintstone and Friends (1977–1978)
- My Husband Is Missing (1978)
- ...And Your Name Is Jonah (1979)
- A Gun in the House (1981)
- Gloria (1982–1983)
- Alice in Wonderland (1985)
- 9 to 5 (1986–1988)
- A Deadly Silence (1989)
- Charles in Charge (1989)
- TaleSpin: Plunder & Lightning (1990)
- TaleSpin (1990–1991)
- Tom & Jerry Kids (1990)
- Yo Yogi! (1991)
- Dinosaurs (1991–1994)
- In the Best Interest of the Children (1992)
- Acting Crazy (1994)
- The New Adventures of Mother Goose (1995)
- The Awful Truth with Michael Moore (1999)
- General Hospital (2002)
- Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)
- Still Standing (2003–2006)
- The Winner (2007)
- Celebrity Ghost Stories (2011)
Awards and nominations
- 2010: Won the award for Featured Actress in a Musical for the role of Fairy Godmother in the Cabrillo Music Theatre production of "Cinderella"
- "Sally Struthers Film Reference biography". Filmreference.com. 1947-07-28. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
- "Sally Struthers: Biography, Latest News & Videos". TVGuide.com. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Many sources, without citing a birth date, gave her age as 65 in September 2012, suggesting a 1947 birth date. These include: "Sally Struthers Arrested for DUI in Maine". People. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012. "Actress Sally Struthers Charged With DUI in Maine". Associated Press via ABC News.com. September 13, 2012. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Struthers, Sally (November 7, 2001). "Testimony to The Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility: Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century". Federal Depository Library Program. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Fallick, Alan H. (July 24, 2012). "Sally Struthers on '9 to 5,' Life and Topless Scene with Jack Nicholson". Newsday. Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Keyes, Bob (April 1, 2012). "Waiting in the wings: Summer". The Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine). Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- Graham, Gillian (Sep 13, 2012). "Sally Struthers arrested for OUI in Maine". The Portland Press Herald (Portland, Maine). Retrieved September 13, 2012.
- "Actress Sally Struthers arrested in Maine and charged with drunken driving | Local News - WMUR Home". Wmur.com. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
- Dolan, Scott (Sep 6, 2013). "Maine prosecutors dismiss Sally Struthers' OUI charge". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- List of In Living Color episodes
- Struthers' participation in "The Awful Truth with Michael Moore"
- "2009/2010 Ovation Award Winners.". 17 January 2011.
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