Today is a heartbreaking day for the entertainment industry. Deadline reports that veteran actress Jessica Walter passed away at 80 years old on March 24. She died peacefully in her sleep at her home in New York City. Walter, an award-winning and critically lauded comedic performer, boasted a versatile acting roster that spanned six decades. 

Walter was born on January 31, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York. She kickstarted her career with her first television credit in 1962. She appeared as Julie Murano in Love of Life. Walter’s first film role came about in 1964’s Lilith starring Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg. She appeared in a wide variety of TV shows and movies throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1971 for her performance in Play Misty for Me. In 1975, she snagged an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for crime drama Amy Prentiss.

Then, in 2003, Walter’s most iconic role came to fruition. She starred as snarky matriarch Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. The part earned her a plethora of award nods and praise from TV lovers and critics alike. Later, Walter ventured into voiceover territory with her role as Mallory Archer in FX’s animated comedy Archer, wherein she starred in 119 episodes. 

Walter continued to work extensively through the 2010s and beyond. Her last appearance is in an episode of American Housewife as Margaret, which aired on February 24, 2021. 

Walter’s wit, class and joie de vivre

She’s survived by her daughter Brooke Bowman and grandson Micah Heymann. Bowman released a statement regarding her mother’s passing:

It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. 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.

Now, the family has asked that donations be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind in lieu of flowers. 

Walter is one of my favorite comedic performers. I grew up watching her in Arrested Development and later falling in love with her work in Archer. She was a titan in the creative world. Her comedic timing was pitch-perfect. There will never be another like her. To say she stole the show in everything she was in would be an understatement. 

Rest in peace, Jessica Walter. I’m going to see a “Star War” just for you. 

 

 

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