All In The Family was an awesome show with timeless lessons, making stars out of actors like Sally Struthers.
Now, the lovely lady with the distinctive blonde hair is still in the entertainment industry and looks different.
A talented young actor
Sally Struthers is best known for playing Gloria Stivic in the 1970s TV show All In The Family. This famous sitcom was about a regular white family in Queens, New York, and got an impressive 73 award nominations with 42 wins.
I’m not sure if those born after the show’s peak can understand how innovative it was. While there were funny sitcoms before, they rarely tackled social issues. All In The Family made those issues funny or sad.
Watching old episodes on YouTube makes you feel young, laugh, and distract from today’s problems. Many issues from back then are still around, but the show presented them in a funny way.
The main people in All In The Family were Archie, Edith, Gloria, Michael, and Stephanie – they had great chemistry.
I think Sally Struthers was not fully appreciated as an actress. She even sang in some episodes, and I could see her growth in the series.
She admitted in 1973, “At first, I acted foolish on the set, thinking it would make people like me. But I’ve learned to be myself, and now they respect me.”
When the show started in January 1971, Sally, a 22-year-old with little TV experience, was not well-known. The producer, Norman Lear, discovered her talent while she was dancing on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.
Despite her lack of experience, Sally did great, just like the rest of the cast. Within six months, she became a big star as All In The Family became the top show on TV.
During her peak fame, she couldn’t walk outside or go to dinner without being surrounded by fans. For a young and innocent 22-year-old, it was a challenging experience.
In the early seasons of the show, Sally enjoyed playing Gloria Stivic. However, she didn’t get many chances to develop the character or fully use her acting skills. During a break from All in the Family, she told producers that she wanted to try a more serious role.
“When we take a break, I want to do something different,” she said.
“There are many ways to portray a woman. I’d like to play a murderer, a single mom, a nun, and an old Jewish mother. By the end of my career, I want people to say I’m as funny as Judy Holliday and as respected as Ruth Gordon.”
Getting stuck in one type of role can ruin a career. It happens a lot – someone becomes famous in a big show, but everything afterward doesn’t quite measure up.
Unfortunately, that happened to Sally.
Even though she won two Emmy awards for playing Gloria and got main roles in a couple of shows after leaving All In The Family, she didn’t get many offers, and soon, job opportunities became scarce for her.
During the 1990s, she sometimes appeared as a panelist on the game show Match Game. Some might know Sally as Babette Dell in Gilmore Girls.
Currently, she’s been a regular at Ogunquit Playhouse since the early 2000s, a theater in Ogunquit, Maine, that puts on four or more shows each season.
In 2022, she played Frau Blucher in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts alongside AJ Holmes.
Apart from her acting, the All In The Family star has been actively supporting impoverished children in developing countries.
Sally has been speaking up for Christian Children’s Fund for a long time and has been seen in their famous TV ads.
Sally Struthers’ daughter
Some may not be aware, but Sally has a daughter named Samantha. Interestingly, she wasn’t initially keen on having a child.
However, after meeting renowned psychiatrist William C. Rader, she changed her mind. The couple got married in 1977, and two years later, Samantha joined their family.
“Before I met Bill, I didn’t want a baby. I used to say it wouldn’t make me happy; I didn’t need a mini-me. But then, you fall in love,” Sally shared with People in 1981.
“You want to be the mom of a child that is a mix of both of you, the result of your love.”
Unfortunately, her marriage didn’t last. In 1983, Sally and William C. Rader divorced and went their separate ways.
Sally’s daughter took a different path, becoming a clinical psychologist and running her own practice today.
Samantha Struthers Rader is active on social media, offering advice and sharing travel photos.
However, she seems to have inherited some of her mom’s talents. Occasionally, Samantha showcases her impressive singing skills, and her voice is just as good as Sally’s.
Sally Struthers Today
Sally Struthers, who is now 75 years old, lives in Los Angeles.
She’s still active in entertainment and has been working in theaters for the past 25 years.
Despite being available in Los Angeles, she wonders why she’s not asked to audition or offered jobs there. However, in places like Texas, Maine, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut, there’s always a job for her, and they eagerly welcome her back for something new each year.
Sally faced challenges over the years. Her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s in 1996, and she received hurtful comments about her appearance and weight on social media.
Despite it all, she handled everything with charm, integrity, and a sense of humor. Sally shared in 2022, “Since I could walk and talk a bit, my main goal in life has been to make people laugh.”
“When I make people laugh, and I hear their laughter, it feels like heaven. Whether it’s a funny face I made or a line I said, that’s my thing. Laughter.”
I don’t get why people use foul language and say mean things. Sally brought us lots of laughter, helps children in need, and seems genuinely caring.
Thanks for the memories, Sally! You look great, and I hope you keep performing for a long time!