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Sally Struthers Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Jul 28, 1948
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

The daughter of a Portland doctor, Sally Ann Struthers left home at 18, determined to become a star. The 5' 1", frizzy-haired Ms. Struthers attended classes at the Pasadena Playhouse, then worked as a singer, dancer and commercial actress before the breaks began arriving in rapid succession in 1970. By the end of that year, she had been seen on TV as a comedy-ensemble player on The Smothers Brother Comedy Hour and a chorus girl (in fact, the only chorus girl) on The Tim Conway Comedy Hour; she'd played a small but attention-grabbing role in the [[Performer~P104455~Jack Nicholson~jacknicholson]] film [[Feature~V17654~Five Easy Pieces~fiveeasypieces]]; and she'd provided the voice for Pebbles Flintstone on the animated [[Feature~V175256~Pebbles and Bamm Bamm Show~thepebblesandbammbammshow[animatedtvseries]]]. Oh, before we forget: also in 1970, Struthers was cast as Gloria Bunker Stivic on the groundbreaking TV sitcom [[Feature~V174762~All in the Family~allinthefamily[tvseries]]]. During her seven-season stint as Gloria, she shared a 1972 "Best Supporting Actress" Emmy with [[Feature~V175171~The Mary Tyler Moore Show~themarytylermooreshow[tvseries]]]'s Valerie Harper. She also took time out to deliver an image-busting performance as the sluttish wife of kidnap victim Jack Dodson in Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway (1972), and to star in such made-for-TV films as [[Feature~V123633~Aloha Means Goodbye~alohameansgoodbye]] (1974), [[Feature~V63238~Hey, I'm Alive~heyimalive]] (1975) and [[Feature~V125960~The Great Houdinis~thegreathoudinis]] (1976). In 1975, Struthers very nearly walked off [[Feature~V174762~All in the Family~allinthefamily[tvseries]]] over a much-publicized salary dispute; she left the series when her contract ended in 1978, returning briefly to appear in an episode titled "California Here We Are"--and winning a second Emmy as a result. Though big things were predicted for Struthers, her post-Family years were rough. Her TV-movie appearances began playing to ever-diminishing ratings, while her highly touted 1981 Broadway debut in Wally's Café was a bust. It was a frightened, insecure Sally Struthers who returned to series television in 1982 as the star of Gloria, an [[Feature~V174762~All in the Family~allinthefamily[tvseries]]] spin-off which recast the actress in the role that made her famous. Despite initially good ratings, Gloria tanked after a year. After another foredoomed Broadway appearance in a female version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, Sally accepted the role of klutzy divorcee Marsha McMurray Shrimpton in the 1986 syndicated sitcom [[Feature~V104069~9 to 5~ninetofive]]. Around this same time, Struthers began showing up as the TV spokesperson for a charitable organization serving malnourished Third-World children. While none could doubt the actress' sincerity, her strident, lachrymose fund-raising appeals were treated with merciless derision by the many sketch-comedy TV series of the period. Though her career may never again reach the heights of her [[Feature~V174762~All in the Family~allinthefamily[tvseries]]] days, Sally Struthers has kept busy in a variety of show-business ventures, including voiceover assignments on such series as [[Feature~V48545~Talespin~talespin[animatedtvseries]]] and Dinosaurs, and a recent touring production of the musical Grease, in which she co-starred with another TV favorite of yore, [[Feature~V175189~The Monkees~themonkees[tvseries]]]' [[Performer~P36076~Davy Jones~davyjones]]. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi