Sally Struthers

Sally Struthers

Struthers at the Filmex Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, 1981.
Born Sally Anne Struthers
(1947-07-28) July 28, 1947
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Education Grant High School
Occupation Actress, voice artist, spokesperson, activist
Years active 1970–present
Known for Gloria Bunker – All in the Family
Spouse(s) William C. Rader (m. 1977; div. 1983)
Children 1

Sally Anne Struthers (born July 28, 1947) is an American actress, voice artist, spokeswoman and activist best known in the United States for her roles as Gloria Stivic, the daughter of Archie and Edith Bunker (played by Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton) 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.

Personal life

Sally Anne Struthers was born on July 28, 1947[1][2] in Portland, Oregon, and attended Grant High School.[3] She is one of two children. She has a sister, Sue.[4] Their parents are Margaret Caroline (née Jernes) and Robert Alden Struthers, a surgeon,[1] who left the family when Sally was 9 or 10 years old.[4] Her maternal grandparents were Norwegian immigrants.[4] Struthers married William C. Rader, a psychiatrist on December 18, 1977; they divorced on January 19, 1983. They have one child.[1]


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.[5]

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 more 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."[6]
Struthers (upper-left) in the 1976 cast promotional photo of 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.[5] She was a semi-regular panelist on the 1990 revival of Match Game and an occasional guest on Win, Lose or Draw (Even filling in for Vicki Lawrence as host for a week). She also had a recurring role as Bill Miller's manipulative mother, Louise, on Still Standing and regularly appeared on Gilmore Girls as Babette Dell. She also 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).[5]

Struthers starred in the stage production of Annie at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and in the national tour of the production in the late 1990s. She 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.[7]

In 2014, Struthers toured in the 50th anniversary production of Hello, Dolly!, playing Dolly Levi.


Struthers 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,[8] the South Park episodes "Starvin' Marvin" and "Starvin' Marvin in Space",[5] and the Denis Leary song Voices in my Head.[9]



  • The Phynx (1970) ... World's No. 1 Fan
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970) ... Shirley "Betty"
  • The Getaway (1972) ... Fran Clinton
  • A Different Approach (1978) (short film) ... Cameo appearance
  • The Others (1997) ... Mrs. Zelov
  • Out of the Black (2001) ... Betty
  • A Month of Sundays (2001) ... Onida Roy
  • Reeseville (2003) ... Katie Oakman
  • Baadasssss! (2003) ... Roz
  • Monster Heroes (2010) ... Kripta
  • Waiting in the Wings: The Musical (2014) ... Sperm Bank Receptionist
  • Hollywood Musical! (2015) ... Sally
  • Waiting in the Wings: Still Waiting (2016) ... Lucy
  • You & Me (2017) ... Tilly



  • Wally's Cafe (1981) ... Janet (Broadway: Brooks Atkinson Theatre)
  • The Odd Couple (1985–1986) ... Florence Ungar (Broadway: Broadhurst Theatre)
  • Grease (1994–1998) ... Miss Lynch (Broadway: Eugene O'Neill Theatre)
  • Annie (1998–1999) ... Miss Hannigan, 20th Anniversary National Tour; (2008) Reagle Players; (2011) Cabrillo Music Theatre; (2012) Pittsburgh CLO
  • Always...Patsy Cline (1999) ... Louise (Hollywood Playhouse); (2009) (Casa Mañana)
  • Anything Goes (2002) ... Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt (Freud Playhouse, UCLA)
  • The Club of Hearts (2005) ... Ida (New Theatre Restaurant)
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (2005) ... Miss Mona (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Fifth of July (2006) ... Aunt Sally Talley Friedman (Regional)
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2006) ... Big Mama (Regional)
  • Hello, Dolly! (2006) ... Dolly Levi (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • The Full Monty (2007) ... Jeanette (Ogunquit Playhouse); (2010) (North Carolina Theatre); (2013) (Riverside Center Dinner Theatre)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (2008) ... Golde (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Steel Magnolias (2008) ... Truvy (Casa Mañana)
  • Nunsense (2008) ... Mother Superior, 25th Anniversary Tour
  • All Shook Up (2009) ... Mayor Matilda Hyde (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Love Letters (2010) ... Melissa Gardner (Kentucky Repertory Theatre)
  • Curtains (2010) ... Carmen Bernstein (Pittsburgh CLO)
  • Cinderella (2010) ... Fairy Godmother (Cabrillo Music Theater)
  • Chicago (2010) ... Mama Morton (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Legally Blonde (2011) ... Paulette Bonafonté (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Hello, Dolly! (2011) ... Dolly Levi (Riverside Center Dinner Theatre); (2012) (Alhambra Dinner Theatre); (2013–14) National Tour
  • The Drowsy Chaperone (2011) ... Mrs. Tottendale (3-D Theatricals)
  • Always...Patsy Cline (2011) ... Louise, also directed the production (3-D Theatricals); (2012) (Ogunquit Playhouse); (2013) (Algonquin Arts Theatre); (2014) (El Portal Theatre)
  • 9 to 5: The Musical (2012) ... Roz Keith (Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts); (2012) (Ogunquit Playhouse); (2015) (Riverside Center Dinner Theatre)
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie (2013) ... Mrs. Meers (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Hello, Dolly! (2013–2014) ... Dolly Levi, 50th Anniversary Tour
  • The Witches of Eastwick (2014) ... Felicia Gabriel (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Spamalot (2014) ... God (Riverside Center Dinner Theatre)
  • Nice Work If You Can Get It (2015) ... Dutchess Estonia Dulworth (Ogunquit Playhouse)
  • Mame (2015–16) ... Agnes Gooch (Riverside Center Dinner Theatre)

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards

Ovation Awards


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