In the 1970s, the two juggernauts for expanding the TV Universe were 'All In The Family' and 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'.
'All In The Family' spawned at least 7 sequels and spin-offs, some of which spawned their own spin-offs!
- 'All In The Family'
- 'Archie Bunker's Place'
- 'The Jeffersons'
- 'Good Times'
- 'Checking In'
- '704 Hauser'
And 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' wasn't far behind; and they even included a dramatic series and a TV movie among its offspring.
- 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show'
- 'Lou Grant'
- "Mary & Rhoda"
Now, even though it's a theory of relateeveety and thus can't be proven, I think I have a way of connecting the two shows together.
For 48 episodes of 'Phyllis', Jane Rose played Phyllis' mother-in-law, Audrey Dexter. She was the mother of Dr. Lars Lindstrom and had married Judge Jonathan Dexter after her first husband died.
I don't think her maiden name ever came up in the show. That part of the family was too far in the past for her to be concerned with probably and any who were left whom she might have known were all back on the East Coast. Besides, 'Phyllis' was definitely dominated by the Judge's family, thanks to feisty Mother Dexter.
So here's my theory: her maiden name was Baines and she was the sister of Edith Bunker's Aunt Clara.
ALL IN THE FAMILY- EDITH'S FRIEND (1975)
It was only one episode in comparison to the 48 for Audrey Dexter, but that was all that was needed.
The two of them looked so much alike that they had to be sisters. (Yes, yes. We know Jane Rose played them both. You're very smart. Now shut up.)
And best of all, there doesn't seem to be anything about either woman to contradict such a claim.
So that's my theory and I'm sticking with it.