Jessica Walter Mourned by Viola Davis, Aisha Tyler and More: ‘Queen of the Undermining Zinger’
Jessica Walter, star of “Arrested Development” and “Archer,” died in her sleep Tuesday at age 80. Almost immediately after her passing was announced, tributes to Walter flooded social media.
Walter was known for her role as Mallory Archer in the show “Archer,” and Lucille Bluth on Ron Howard’s “Arrested Development.” In 1971, she played Evelyn in “Play Misty for Me,” one of her earlier breakout performances.
One reason Walter’s presence on screen is so powerful was her impeccable sense of comedic timing and mastery of a whole array of facial expressions — as historian Kevin Kruse said Wednesday, “she could do more with a wordless reaction than anyone.
“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,” 20th Television, the studio that produced “Arrested Development,” said in a statement to TheWrap Thursday. “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 memory of the iconic actress, some posted callbacks to Walter’s most iconic lines and moments from her many roles. “I wanna cry so bad, but I don’t think I can spare the moisture,” Taylor Garron tweeted, referencing one of Lucille Bluth’s many legendary lines, said in season three of “Arrested Development.”
With a career spanning across five decades, Walter more than made a name for herself in television. She won an Emmy for her lead role in “Amy Prentiss.” Walter also received Emmy nominations for her roles in “The Streets of San Francisco” in 1977 and “Trapper John, M.D.” in 1980.
She also worked with George Segal, who died earlier this week, in two sitcoms. Walter appeared in “Just Shoot Me!” as Eve Gallo, wife to Segal’s Jack Gallo. The pair played a married couple once again in TVLand’s shortlived series “Retired at 35.”
See more reactions to Walter’s passing below.