Arrested Development star Jessica Walter dies at 80

Jessica Walter in Arrested Development.
(Image credit: Netflix)

Hollywood legend Jessica Walter has died at age 80. The actor's daughter, Fox executive Brooke Bowman, made the announcement on Thursday, 26 March. 

"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."

The legacy Walter left behind is unquestionable. In her six-decade career, she appeared on both the big and small screen in a whole host of memorable roles including Pat in the Hollywood classic Grand Prix, Mallory Archer in FX's Archer, and a long list of lesser-known geek-universe voiceover roles including Granny Goodness in the smash-hit Harley Quinn, Athena in Justice League Action, Meteora Heinous in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and many more.

Actors and co-stars joined the chorus of those showering praise on the late actress, noting her contributions to the entertainment world and her unbeatable comic delivery. “She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched,” Arrested Development co-star Tony Hale, said. “Rest In Peace Mama Bluth.”

“Jessica Walter never missed,” said John Levenstein, a producer on Arrested Development. “If she didn’t get a laugh there was a problem with the script.”

Archer co-star Aisha Tyler went to Twitter to say, "Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support. And so insanely funny. She was the brilliant center of our Archer universe. Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica. You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you."

The studio 20th Television also joined in on the acknowledgment of the loss, releasing a statement reading: “Jessica Walter’s spectacular turn as the devilish Lucille Bluth is one of the great comedic performances of television history, and we loved working with her as much as audiences loved her on Arrested Development. Our hearts go out to her family and friends, particularly her daughter, and our former colleague, Brooke. We know that heaven just got a whole lot funnier with Jessica now in residence.”

In her life, Walter earned a considerable number of awards including an Emmy for her performance in Amy Prentiss, a Satellite Award for her role in Arrested Development and more. Her list of overall nominations is too long to list here, but they include 2 Golden Globes, 3 additional Emmys, 2 Annies, and over thirty more.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Streaming Editor at IGN

Amelia is now the Streaming Editor for IGN, but formerly worked for What To Watch, and GamesRadar. She writes about all things TV and movies.