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Jessica Walter, star of Arrested Development, dies aged 80 | Culture

Actor Jessica Walter has died at the age of 80.

Walter, best known for her Emmy-winning role as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, died in her sleep at her New York home.

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

The actor had won an Emmy in 1975 for the series Amy Prentiss and received three nominations for her performance as the sarcastic matriarch in the hit comedy show. Walter was also known for her voice work in the animated series Archer, playing Malory Archer, the former CEO of the International Secret Intelligence Service.

Her most notable big screen role was in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 thriller Play Misty For Me, as a woman scorned, a film many saw as a vital inspiration for Fatal Attraction. Her other big screen turns included John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix and Sidney Lumet’s The Group, both released in 1966.

“I lost more parts than I’ve ever had, but you realize quick that you have to be like a terrier with a bone,” she said to Elle in 2019. “So I did the circuit. My God, I did the circuit. If it’s a good role, I don’t care what the medium is, I take it.”

Walter’s most recent big screen appearances included comedies The Mimic and Undercover Grandpa. She also provided her voice to the animated Harley Quinn series and appeared in episodes of American Housewife and Good Girls.

Tributes have arrived online from those in the industry. Tony Hale, who played her son in Arrested Development, tweeted: “She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace Mama Bluth.” Henry Winkler, who also starred on the show, wrote: “It was an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row”

Walter’s husband, Tony-winning actor and star of Friends Ron Leibman, died in 2019. She is survived by daughter Bowman.

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