AKA Sally Ann Struthers
Birthplace: Portland, OR
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: All In The Family
Like many pretty young women, Sally Struthers came to Hollywood as soon as she finished high school, determined to make her name in show business. And like most, she was unable to find work as an actress. For several years she worked as a dancer, augmenting her income with office work while taking acting lessons at the Pasadena Playhouse.
In one of her early jobs, she was a dancing girl in a TV special starring Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. She appeared in numerous commercials, and voiced the hot teenaged Pebbles Flintstone on The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, with former Dennis the Menace Jay North voicing Bamm-Bamm. Then, a year after The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour had been abruptly cancelled for showing too much irreverence at CBS, it was given a brief reprise at ABC, with Struthers in the sketch comedy cast, before being cancelled again.
She made her film debut with a tiny part in the bizarrely awful The Phynx, in which an alleged rock'n'roll band goes undercover to rescue celebrities like Colonel Sanders and Xavier Cugat, who have been kidnapped by communists. In Struthers' second film, Five Easy Pieces, she had sex with Jack Nicholson.
In 1971, she landed the role that has defined her, as the curly-haired, sometimes squealing sometimes wise Gloria Stivic, daughter of Archie and Edith Bunker and wife of Meathead on the huge hit All in the Family. She won two Emmys as Gloria, but left All in the Family in 1978 after a salary dispute.
For several years during and after All in the Family she was the veritable queen of made-for-TV movies, including the disease-of-the-week classic Aloha Means Goodbye with James Franciscus, the wife-beating saga Intimate Strangers with Dennis Weaver, and the true but tedious tale of two travelers stranded after a plane crash in the Yukon, Hey, I'm Alive! with Ed Asner.
She has never again achieved anything close to her 1970s success as Gloria, a role she eventually returned to in a short-lived spin-off sitcom, but Struthers has worked steadily over the years. On stage, she toured as Miss Hannigan in Annie, and starred on Broadway as Florence Ungar opposite Rita Moreno as Olive Madison in a gender-reversed Odd Couple that ran more than a year. On TV, she took the Lily Tomlin role in a sitcom adaptation of the office comedy Nine to Five, voiced Charlene Sinclair on Dinosaurs, and played a wacky neighbor on Gilmore Girls.
Struthers married and divorced a psychiatrist, William Rader, who founded the Rader Institute for Eating Disorders. For many years, she has struggled with her own weight problems. She was also the long-time TV spokesperson for the Christian Children's Fund, raising funds to feed the world's hungry and malnourished children.
(Photo credit: Michael Maron)
Father: Robert Alden Struthers (military psychiatrist)
Mother: Margaret Caroline Jernes (b. 1917, d. 23-Dec-1996 Alzheimers)
Sister: Susan Struthers
Husband: William Rader (psychiatrist, m. 18-Dec-1977, one daughter)
Daughter: Samantha Struthers Rader (b. 18-May-1979)
High School: Grant High School, Portland, OR
Driving While Intoxicated Ogunquit, ME (12-Sep-2012)
Emmy 1971 for All in the Family (supporting actress, comedy)
Emmy 1978 for All in the Family (supporting actress, comedy)
Gilmore Girls Babette Dell (2000-07)
Still Standing Louise Miller (2003-06)
General Hospital Jennifer Smith (2002)
9 to 5 Marsha McMurray Shrimpton (1986-88)
Gloria Gloria Bunker Stivic (1982-83)
All in the Family Gloria Bunker Stivic (1971-78)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (10-Nov-2016)
What I Did for Love (2006)
Baadasssss! (7-Sep-2003) · Roz
A Month of Sundays (17-Sep-2001)
Out of the Black (25-Jul-2001)
In the Best Interest of the Children (16-Feb-1992)
A Deadly Silence (16-Apr-1989)
Alice in Wonderland (9-Dec-1985)
And Your Name Is Jonah (28-Jan-1979) · Jenny Corelli
Intimate Strangers (11-Nov-1977) · Janis Halston
The Getaway (13-Dec-1972)
Five Easy Pieces (11-Sep-1970) · Betty
The Phynx (6-May-1970)
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