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Sally Struthers Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (21)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Born in Portland, Oregon, USA
Birth NameSally Anne Struthers
Nickname Little Girl

Mini Bio (1)

Cute as a button and with a petite, porcelain prettiness and vulnerability that endeared her to the American public, Sally Struthers nabbed a series role in the early 1970s and became a solid part of TV history as a member of a dysfunctional family quartet in the milestone sitcom, All in the Family (1971).

She was born Sally Ann Struthers, the daughter of a surgeon, on July 28, 1948, in Portland, Oregon. Raise there, she pursued an acting career following high school. She eventually moved to Los Angeles and trained at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, earning a scholarship as its "most promising student." She performed briefly in regional stock plays until finding her break as both a commercial actress and dancer on TV.

A recurring dancer/performer on such variety shows as The Smothers Brothers Summer Show (1970) and The Tim Conway Comedy Hour (1970), the pert-nosed, blue-eyed, curly blonde cutie showed starlet promise in films, offering ditsy support in the Jack Nicholson starrer, Five Easy Pieces (1970), and the chase film, The Getaway (1972), top-lining Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw.

And, then came the iconic series All in the Family (1971). Also starring Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton as conservative parents Archie and Edith, and Rob Reiner as liberal husband Mike, Struthers went on to win two supporting Emmy Awards and four Golden Globe nominations as kewpie-doll Gloria Bunker Strivic, Archie Bunker's "little goil."

Seen occasionally guesting elsewhere on such popular TV programs as "Love, American Style," "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "Ironside," "Laugh-In," "Sonny and Cher" and as the voice of teenage Pebbles Flintstone on the spin-off cartoon series The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show (1971), Sally, along with Rob, finally left the popular family show after seven seasons, both eager to grow away from their strong TV images. While Reiner stepped away from the camera and became a noted director, Sally continued to act. She made her Broadway debut in "Wally's Cafe" in 1981 and returned, four years later, with a gender-bending version of "The Odd Couple" as neat-freak "Florence" opposite Rita Moreno's slovenly "Olive". In addition, she found steady work in both topical and light-hearted 70's TV movies with Aloha Means Goodbye (1974), Hey, I'm Alive (1975), The Great Houdini (1976), My Husband Is Missing (1978), ...and Your Name Is Jonah (1979), A Gun in the House (1981), to name a few.

When offers began to dry up for Sally, she returned to the TV series fold in the early 1980s spinning off her "Gloria" character, sans Rob Reiner, with the self-titled sitcom, Gloria (1982). Without Reiner (the plot had the couple split and her focusing on raising son Joey), the ensemble formula that worked so well for her earlier was missing here and the show died in its freshman year. To compensate, however, Sally's baby-doll voice worked extremely well for her in cartoons. She remained active off-camera, providing little girl voices for Saturday morning entertainment, notably her teenage "Pebbles Flintstone" character. In addition to Yo Yogi! (1991) and Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), other TV animated voice-over work included TaleSpin (1990) as "Rebecca 'Becky' Cunningham" and, notably, puppeteer Jim Henson's creative prehistoric sitcom, Dinosaurs (1991), playing dino-daughter "Charlene Sinclair."

As she grew older, Sally continued delighting fans with broader shtick in plus-sized parts. She showed that she had lost none of the fun for which she was known, by providing hearty comedy relief when she joined the prime-time series Nine to Five (1982) and as a guest in "Charles in Charge," "Sister Kate" and "Murder, She Wrote."

The musical stage was another popular venue. Over the years, she has patented the by-the-book principal "Miss Lynch", with her many "Grease" tours, and as the scheming orphanage operator "Miss Hannigan" in a number of road productions of "Annie." She went on to cop a 2002 Los Angeles "Ovation" award for her delightfully over-the-top "Agnes Gooch" in "Mame", starring Carol Lawrence and in 2012, she performed in both "Always...Patsy Cline" as Louise Segar, and "9 to 5: The Musical" as nosy Roz Klein. In 2014, Struthers toured in the 50th anniversary production in the title role of "Hello, Dolly!"

Into the millennium, Sally has guested on such series as "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" and "The Division," had recurring roles on Still Standing (2002) and Gilmore Girls (2000), and was seen in featured or cameo roles in such independent films as the drama A Month of Sundays (2001), the mystery thriller Reeseville (2003), the Mario Van Peebles biopic Baadasssss! (2003), the comedy Monster Heroes (2010), and the musical comedies Waiting in the Wings: The Musical (2014), Hollywood Musical! (2015), Still Waiting in the Wings (2018) and Christmas Harmony (2018).

Divorced, Sally is the mother of one daughter who has made a career for herself as a clinical psychologist. For years, Sally was a prime spokesperson for the Christian Children's Fund on TV, fervently (and often tearfully) appealing for viewer's monetary assistance in finding an end to starvation in under-developed countries.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

William Rader (18 December 1977 - 18 January 1983) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Light blue eyes
Deep sultry voice
Natural blonde hair

Trivia (21)

Made her TV debut as a dancer on a Herb Alpert special.
Daughter, Samantha Rader, graduated from Vassar College in June 2001 with a degree in Cognitive Science.
Was long-time TV spokesperson for the Christian Children's Fund, appearing in several extended public service spots for them through the 1980s.
She played Miss Hannigan in the 20th Anniversary revival of "Annie" from January to June of 1998.
She played Miss Lynch for three years in the touring company of "Grease".
Sideline: primitive artist (watercolors, acrylics).
Best remembered by the public for her role as "Gloria" on All in the Family (1971).
She played the same character (Gloria Bunker Stivic) on three different series: All in the Family (1971), Archie Bunker's Place (1979) and Gloria (1982).
Playing Dolly Levi in Bloomington Civic Theater's production of "Hello Dolly" in Bloomington, Minnesota [August 2003]
Playing Mother Superior in "Nunsense" A comedic play about nuns. [October 2008]
Reprising the role of Dolly Levi in Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma's production of "Hello Dolly!", Oklahoma City, Oklahoma [July 2005]
Performing in "The Fully Monty," Struthers plays Jeanette Burmeister, an aging old broad who Sally says had an early career playing the piano for bands and musicals. [July 2007]
Playing Miss Hannigan in "Annie" at the Reagle Players, Waltham MA. This production also stars Bob Fitch, who played Rooster Hannigan in the original Broadway cast in 1977. [July 2008]
Ogunquit, Maine. Playing the role of Louise Seger in "Always Patsy Cline" at the Ogunquit Playhouse. [May 2012]
Performing as Matron Mama Morton in the musical "Chicago" in Kansas City. [March 2011]
Reprising the role of Miss Hannigan from "Annie" at the Nevada Conservatory Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. [December 2004]
Turned down an offer of one million dollars to pose nude for Playboy magazine in the early 1970s.
Her acting mentor was the late Carroll O'Connor.
Credits Carroll O'Connor as her favorite acting mentor/best friend.
She is a lifelong Democrat.
Is the only one of the four cast members of All in the Family (1971) who doesn't hail from New York City.

Personal Quotes (2)

If a man is pictured chopping off a woman's breast, it only gets a R rating, but if, God forbid, a man is pictured kissing a woman's breast, it gets an X rating. Why is violence more acceptable than tenderness?
Acting is cheap group therapy, being a schizo fifty different ways. And we're paid!

See also

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