09/30/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Carroll O'Connor, who played the outspoken Archie Bunker on the 1970s sitcom "All in the Family," was reunited on air with his TV wife, Jean Stapleton, for the first time since their ground-breaking series ended three decades ago. The surprise reunion took place last week during a taping of the "Donny & Marie" show. (The segment will air April 25; "Family" repeats, meanwhile, air on Nick at Nite.) O'Connor was asked by the Osmonds what Stapleton -- whom O'Connor used to call a "dingbat" on the show -- really thought of him. Replied the actor, "Oh, she looooooves me." No sooner had he said that than Stapleton, unannounced, appeared from backstage, her arms outstretched to greet him.