Sally Struthers thought Gloria should have had a job on All in the Family

Sally Struthers had a few ideas for her character on All in the Family. Including one idea that came true.

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Sally Struthers was on TV every Saturday night while households all over the country tuned in to watch her story expand on All in the Family. As viewers watched Gloria Bunker-Stivic's story transform, Struthers watched herself in the role, and had a few suggestions for the writers.

In a 1972 interview with The Shreveport Journal, Struthers explained why her character had very little development for most of the nine seasons of All in the Family.

"Gloria is just as lazy as [her] husband Mike," Struthers said. "An only child, Gloria has been babied for so long, she just wouldn't be able to make the break. She doesn't polish silver, dust or cook, and I'll bet Gloria even avoids making the bed. So moving out doesn't make sense."

Struthers was happy with being a minor part of the family. However, she would try to fight for change. Struthers talked to the writers about her story and how they could propel it forward. 

She wanted more than just the line: "That you, Mike?"

"I'm not a writer," she said. "But I like the idea of Gloria getting a job to help out. A lot of funny things could happen with that premise."

We could only imagine what would have happened if they allowed all of Struthers' storylines to come to life. But one pitch to the writers actually worked in her favor. 

Around this time, Struthers was in a whirlwind romance in real life. This inspired her to ask writers about her character, Gloria, getting pregnant. Would it be written into the show?

According to Struthers, this was their response: "Great. And if you time it right, Gloria could give birth on a Tuesday." (series weekly taping night)

"Lucille Ball did it and made TV history," she said. "There's a difference though. Lucille Ball is taller and could carry it well. I'd be as big out as up."

Struthers had a lot of experience in acting after All in the Family's nine seasons, but according to a 1972 interview with Press and Sun-Bulletin, acting wasn't her first choice for a career. 

Struthers became superstitious after she noticed a pattern: All in the Family was her third big project, it was her third career choice, and it had her believing that the third time was the charm.

"From now on," she said. "I'm going to try and figure out a way to skip number one and two." 

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50 Comments

Jerryfan 15 months ago
But Gloria did have a job at a department store.
trainer1158 15 months ago
She did work -- at Kressler's.
CoreyC 15 months ago
cperrynaples CoreyC 15 months ago
"Yabba Dabba Doozie!"...LOL!
Coldnorth cperrynaples 14 months ago
Do you remember Little Doozie on the Beverly Hillbillies?
JHP 16 months ago
from that pic...I think she had a job:)
CoreyC 16 months ago
cperrynaples CoreyC 16 months ago
Yes, there are a lot of fat Sally jokes on South Park!
Pacificsun 16 months ago
This isn't going to be a popular opinion. People adore AITF almost as much as MASH. I think it's become a cult hit, too.

In many Series, the core characters have a purpose. Frasier is a perfect example of truly ensemble acting. And that's because when the foursome interacts in different pairs, doing so brings out another facet of the main character. The brothers have a very, very close relationship but platonic. Niles and Daphne have the equivalent for obvious reasons. And the friendships that are either playful, paternal, or clever are spread out, to create more interest.

What's the point? The rotating dynamic not only provides endless storylines (plots), but imagination. So that some stories offer fantasy at times (through dreams).

AITF is single-character driven. It's Archie's world, and everyone lives in his. Gloria couldn't have a job, unless she worked in Archie's Place. But not mixing up the situations more often, I think takes some of the dynamic (potential) away from the supporting characters. Like, Mike is 𝒂𝒍𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 conflicting and self-righteous. But he could've existed even without Gloria. She was there for him to express conversation (dialogue) in spite of Archie. And Edith was too dominated 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 Archie. If the characters are viewed as underdogs (prevailing in spite of their deficiencies & limitations) then I guess it was a success. The novelty of Carroll O'Connor (who made it so believable) is what drove the Show. And the talent of Reiner saved a lot of the scenes because of such intensity. Granted, there's no doubt about all the acclamations the Series received. And easy to see why MeTV brought it into its own family of Classic TV (pun intended)! And many viewers are happy about!! 😉
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Coldnorth justjeff 14 months ago
We have similar taste in shows
Coldnorth justjeff 14 months ago
I wish I could find Leverage Redemption dvds as I have all the Leverage dvds. They can be purchased an episode ata time but no season dvds. Amazon doesn’t have them either.
Coldnorth Coldnorth 14 months ago
Does anybody else occasionally have their comments removed? Does MeTV remove them? I was not disrespectful or mean. Only happens once in a while. Any suggestion of why?
justjeff Coldnorth 14 months ago
It could be a word or phrase the might border on being questionable even if it was meant in an innocent way...
cperrynaples 16 months ago
I think I know what the other 2 projects were: The Tim Conway Hour [1970] & Pebbles & Bamm Bamm [1971]! Bonus Question: Gloria did have a job on her spinoff! What was it and which MeTV star was her boss?
CoreyC cperrynaples 15 months ago
Gloria worked at a Veterinarian's Office and her boss was Burgess Meredith.
LoveMETV22 16 months ago
Interesting story, but it really sounds as though Sally Struthers had no reason to be superstitious with the three pattern as she was using " four thought".... oh wait that's forethought.
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