Jessica Walter Dead at 80; Arrested Development Cast Mourns Beloved Actress
Jessica Walter, the veteran actress who established one of the funniest and most memorable characters in TV history on Arrested Development, passed away in her sleep on Wednesday.
She was 80 years old.
This very sad move was confirmed to People Magazine by the beloved star’s daughter, Brooke.
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” Brooke said on Thursday afternoon.
“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.”
Walter made her movie debut back in 1964 and starred in shows such as 90210 and Archer.
However, a majority of younger television fans will forever remember Walter as the hilariously self-centered and conniving matriarch Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, on which she starred from 2003 to 2013 — and then again from 2018 to 2019.
In response to her death, nearly everyone associated with this legendary sitcom mourned Walter on social media or via a statement.
“She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace Mama Bluth,” wrote Tony Hale, who played Lucille’s son Buster on Arrested Development.
Hale included with his tribute a sweet, smiling selfie of him and the actress.
Added Alia Shawkat: “love you Gangie #jessicawalters.”
And series lead Jason Bateman:
“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.”
And Will Arnett:
“Jessica Walter was a deeply talented person. 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.”
Walter also made a humorous name for herself on Archer, prompting this message from FX:
We are utterly heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jessica Walter. She was a comedic genius and a brilliant actor who personified wit, grace and elegance.
Jessica’s “Malory Archer” served as the bedrock character for the series and we were always honored to have her as member of our FX family.
Words cannot describe the monumental loss we and the Archer producers and cast feel.
We extend our love, appreciation and condolences to Jessica’s family.
Added Adam Reed, creator and executive producer of Archer:
The Archer family is heartbroken to lose Jessica Walter, our beloved colleague and friend.
Jessica was a consummate professional, an actor’s actor, and the exact opposite of Malory Archer – warm, caring, and kind, with an absolutely cracking sense of humor – and it was both a privilege and a true honor to work with her over these many years.
She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.
Walter was previously married to actor Ron Leibman before his death in 2019. Along with Bowman, Walter is survived by her grandson Micah Heymann.
We send our condolences to her friends, family members and loved ones.
May Jessica Walter rest in peace.
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