The world lost a TV legend this week, as award-winning actress Jessica Walter passed away at the age of 80. Walter, whose career spanned five decades, died in her sleep at her New York City home on Wednesday, March 24th. While she took on numerous roles over the years, Walter is most well-known by many for her hilarious turn as Bluth matriarch Lucille in the beloved comedy Arrested Development.
Walter played Lucille in all three seasons of Arrested Development's original run, and returned with the rest of the cast for both additional installments that were released on Netflix. She has also provided the voice of Sterling Archer's mother, Malory, in the long-running animated series Archer.
Quite a lot of modern TV fans know Walter almost exclusively for her work on Arrested Development and Archer, especially since she earned an Emmy nomination for her take on Lucille. However, many consider these roles to be a victory lap, of sorts, as Walter had already established herself as a powerhouse well before picking up Lucille's martini glass.
Walter turned in a memorable and acclaimed performance in Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, a role that many still talk about years later. She also appeared in The Flamingo Kid, The Love Boat, Trapper John, M.D., Dinosaurs, Coach, and 90210. Walter's final on-screen role came on an episode of American Housewife earlier this year.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica," Walter's daughter, Brooke Bowman, said in a statement. "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."
Emmy-winning actor Tony Hale, who spent years as Walter's scene-partner and TV son, took to Twitter to share a message about his late co-star.
She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace Mama Bluth. pic.twitter.com/wJeOeJleR3— Tony Hale (@MrTonyHale) March 25, 2021
"She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched," Hale wrote. "Rest in Peace Mama Bluth."
The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Guide Dogs for the Blind.