Shirley Stabler
Gender Female
Nationality American
Played by Ellen Burstyn
Family Unknown (Mother)
Unknown (Father)
Bonnie Plunkett (Daughter)
Adam Janakowski (Son-In-Law)
Ray Stabler (Son)
Christy Plunkett (Granddaughter)
Violet Plunkett (Great-Granddaughter)
Roscoe Plunkett (Great-Grandson)
Gweneth Taylor (Great-Great-Granddaughter)
Seasons Season 3
Shirley Stabler is an Episodic Character, first and last seen in Season 3's "Terrorists and Gingerbread", she plays Christy's Maternal Grandmother and Bonnie and Ray's biological mother. Shirley was announced dead in "Tush Push and Some Radishes", after we find out she was diagnosed with Cancer in the first episode that she appears in.


Early Life

We don't known much about Shirley until we meet her in Season 3's episode "Terrorists and Gingerbread". This is the only episode she is in. She tells us that her family were all gone after or when Bonnie's father died and she became pregnant with Bonnie whilst he was alive and didn't know what to do when he died, so she gave her up, because she got fired for bringing her to work and could never make enough money to feed the both of them.




Shirley had a romantic, sexual and friendly relationship with Bonnie's father, Henry, she got pregnant at a young age, before Bonnie was born, he died in a motorbike accident. He is unknown by anyone accept for Shirley.



Shirley had a romantic, sexual and friendly relationship with Bonnie's father, Henry, she got pregnant at a young age, before Bonnie was born, he died in a motorbike accident. He is unknown by anyone accept for Shirley.



Season 3

"Terrorists and Gingerbread"
Christy tells Bonnie about the PI

Christy reveals to Bonnie that a PI (Personal Investigator) tracked Bonnie down, Bonnie tells her that she knew this day would come and that they'll move. Christy stops her by saying that it's her Mother who asked the PI to track her down. Bonnie becomes blocked and puts her guard up, not wanting to acknowledge that her mother exists. Bonnie tells both Christy and her mother that she doesn't want to know her.

Christy and Shirley meet

Christy meets Shirley, they talk about Shirley and Bonnie after Christy shows her photographs of Violet and Roscoe and an accidental rash she's concerned about, stating that it's cleared up. Christy asks about why Shirley abandoned Bonnie after having her. Shirley explains that right after she turned 20, Bonnie's father, Henry got killed in a motorcycle accident, she didn't have any family to help her out. She got jobs to try to pay for Bonnie's needs, but since she had no money or family for a babysitter she brought her to all her work duties and got fired for doing it. She figured out that the only way to give Bonnie a good life was to put her up for adoption.

Shirley and Bonnie meet

After Christy meets Shirley on her own, she tries to tell Bonnie the reason why she gave her up. Christy figures the only way to get Bonnie to see sense and Shirley's side of the story, is to tell Bonnie that Shirley has cancer. Christy talks Bonnie into going to a meeting that Shirley has arranged and asked for. Bonnie goes, but tells Shirley that of all the things she has told her, there is still no excuse for leaving her behind, as Bonnie could handle Christy whilst being on drugs and alcohol and Christy could handle Violet whilst being on drugs and alcohol; meaning that both Christy and Bonnie didn't walk out on their children, just because they didn't think they could handle it.


  • Shirley is only seen in one episode as Bonnie doesn't want contact with her because she can't forgive her.
  • It is unknown about the family Shirley has other than the Plunketts'.
  • Shirley only reaches out to her daughter because she has cancer.
  • Shirley is announced dead because of Cancer in "Tush Push and Some Radishes".


Mom Characters
Season 1
Christy PlunkettBonnie PlunkettViolet PlunkettRoscoeLukeGabrielChef RudyBaxterPaulMarjorie ArmstrongAlvin Lester BiletnikoffRegina TompkinsJeff TaylorSuzanne TaylorAdam HenchyClaudiaDavid
Season 2
Christy PlunkettBonnie PlunkettViolet PlunkettRoscoeMarjorie ArmstrongGabrielBaxterChef RudyJill KendallAlvin Lester BiletnikoffWendy HarrisPaulRegina TompkinsLorraineSteve CurtisJackie BiletnikoffDouglas BiletnikoffCooperClaudia
Season 3
Christy PlunkettBonnie PlunkettMarjorie ArmstrongJill KendallWendy HarrisRoscoeBaxterViolet PlunkettJodi HubbardChef RudyCandace HayesAdam JanakowskiSteve CasperGregory MunschnickRegina TompkinsClaudiaPaulShirley StablerDottieBeatriceMichelleMr. MunsonAngelaBeverlyMrs. LippertPhyllis MunschnickFred HayesJeanineJulianVictor PerugianAnya PerugianMaryTravisRobert
Season 4
Christy PlunkettBonnie PlunkettMarjorie ArmstrongWendy HarrisJill KendallAdam JanakowskiViolet PlunkettBaxterRoscoeCandace HayesSteve CasperVictor PerugianBeverly TarantinoDerekAlissaLeslieSusieLukeDr. LaSalleFrankCamilleLeanneBeatriceJuneMaryNatashaRay StablerJeanineMitchNick BanaszakJoeDanielle
Season 5