Jessica Walter, Emmy-Winning Star of ‘Arrested Development,’ Dead at 80

by Matthew Wilson

Award-winning actor Jessica Walter has died. The actor reportedly passed away while asleep at her New York City apartment on Wednesday (March 24). Walter was 80 years old.

According to Deadline, Walter’s daughter Brooke Bowman confirmed her mother’s death. In a press release, Bowman commented on her mother’s legacy and life.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” Bowman said. “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.”

Jessica Walter and Her Career

Walter’s career span more than 50 years, appearing both on the big and small screen. She appeared in several hit TV series such as “Trapper John M.D.” and “Streets of San Francisco” as well. Both shows earned the actor Emmy nominations. But perhaps two of her most well-known roles came in her later years. She starred as Lucille Bluth on the critically acclaimed comedy “Arrested Development. ” The role earned her more award recognition. She also lent her voice to the snarky and jaded Malory Archer on the animated series “Archer” as well.

For her work on “Amy Prentiss,” Walter earned an Emmy Award. On the big screen, Walter entertained audiences in Clint Eastwood‘s “Play Misty for Me.” She played a fan of Eastwood’s radio disc jockey, who becomes obsessed with him.

While her film work earned Walter a legion of fans across the world, the actor also enjoyed the stage just as much as well. She started her career in New York City on Broadway. During her career, Walter appeared in such plays as “Advise and Consent,” “A Severed Head,” “Nightlife,” and also “Photo Finish.”

Walter later starred in the Broadway revival of “Anything Goes,” netting a number of awards in the process. Walter is survived by her daughter Bowman and her grandson Micah Heymann. Bowman followed her mother into the entertainment industry and is the SVP Drama programming at Fox Entertainment.

Fans will miss Walter and her trademark wit. The actor had an eye for both humor but also drama as well. Walter acted in a number of different projects throughout her career. And her work stands as a testament to her legacy.