Jessica Walter, the Emmy Award-winning actress best known for playing Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development and providing the voice for Malory Archer on Archer, has died. She was 80.
Walter’s death was confirmed by her daughter, Brooke Bowman, in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” said Bowman. “A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off. While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class and overall joie de vivre.”
The Brooklyn native began her professional career in 1958 at The Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA. Her first job there was as an acting apprentice a release from the Playhouse reveals.
An intimate interview with Jessica Walter at Bucks County Playhouse.https://t.co/TiqbuYkYJa— BucksCountyPlayhouse (@TheaterBCP) March 26, 2021
“Jessica performed several times at the Playhouse – she returned to the Playhouse in 1960 playing the nurse in “Come Blow Your Horn”, the very first Neil Simon play EVER staged! In 2016 she starred in Marsha Mason’s “Steel Magnolias” at the Playhouse and she returned more recently for a reading of “Showboat.” “
Walter died in her New York home on Wednesday night (March 24.) A cause of death was not confirmed.
Walter’s career contained roles on Broadway, television and in film. She worked steadily from 1960 until the end of her life per IMDB. Walter’s lone Emmy win came in 1975 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for playing the titular role in Amy Prentiss.
While Walter is best known for her roles in Arrested Development and Archer, other notable TV and film credits in her career include 1966’s Grand Prix, 1971’s Play Misty for Me, Love, American Style (1969-1973), The Love Boat (1978-1985), Trapper John, M.D. (1979-1985), Dinosaurs (1991-1994 as the voice of Fran Sinclair), 90210 (2008-2009), Retired at 35 (2011-2012) and Star vs. the Forces of Evil (2015-2018.)
Some of her co-stars and other notable entertainment figures took to social media to pay respect to Walter.
R. I. P. Jessica Walter. What an incredible career, filled with amazing performances. I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life. She was one of a kind. All my love and thoughts to her family.— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support. And so insanely funny. She was the brilliant center of our @archerfxx universe. Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica. You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you. 💔 pic.twitter.com/0fsXh6CwbS— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was an unparalleled talent. So funny. So insanely good in everything she was in. Wonderful to be around. I will miss her.— h. jon benjamin (@HJBenjamin) March 25, 2021
I just heard the shitty news about Jessica Walter an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent. I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of TV's greatest characters— david cross✍ (@davidcrosss) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was a deeply talented person— Will Arnett™ (@arnettwill) March 25, 2021
We first met on a pilot in ‘96 and I was instantly blown away
I’m fortunate to have had a front row seat to her brilliance for 25 years
My thoughts are with her daughter Brooke and grandson Micah today
Farewell Jessica, you’ll be missed
What a brilliant, funny, intelligent and strong woman. RIP Jessica Walter, and thank you for a lifetime of laughs and for sharing your incredible talent on our show and with the world. #jessicawalter— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter appeared in The Return of Wonder Woman in 1977. Though we battled each other on-screen, in real life she was one of kindest, warmest, funniest women I’ve ever met. Jessica, I will always remember your sage advice on and off the set fondly. We will all miss you. pic.twitter.com/Uxdaw6v1Ft— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) March 26, 2021
This is so incredibly sad. I loved Jessica so much. She was so funny and marched to the tune of her own drummer. A true original whom I had the honor of working with several times. So much love to you, Jessica. Rest In Peace. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/Sm0tqvE4Os— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 25, 2021
watch a Star War today— Nerdist (@nerdist) March 25, 2021
For Jessica Walter pic.twitter.com/0ItTzmM8ro
Remembering the amazing career of Jessica Walter today, including her iconic voice performance as Fran Sinclair on Dinosaurs. pic.twitter.com/YrSlM24f3w— The Jim Henson Company (@hensoncompany) March 25, 2021
GALLERY: Jessica Walter with the casts of ‘Arrested Development’ & ‘Archer’ Through the Years