Jessica Walter’s career spanned half a century of excellence.
The award-winning actress is not only famous across generations, but universally beloved.
On Wednesday, March 24, she passed away in her sleep at her home in New York.
Jessica was 80 years old. May her memory be a blessing.
Jessica Walter was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 31, 1941.
She is from a Jewish family, and her father was an immigrant from the USSR.
Though she never described herself as particularly religious, she did affirm that she was “very Jewish in my heart.”
Some of her most iconic roles date back to her early years of acting, like 1996’s Grand Prix and The Group.
Jessica also starred in Play Misty For Me in 1971, a film that also starred Clint Eastwood.
In the 1990s, she provided the voice of Fran Sinclair on Dinosaurs.
Jessica has of course played smaller guest roles, from Law & Order to Babylon 5 to Harley Quinn.
She was a short-term series regular on 90210.
Her more recent iconic roles include Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development and Malory Archer on Archer.
Jessica served as the 2nd National Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild.
She also served asn an elected member of teh SAG Board of Directors for over a decade.
For her role as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, Jessica received two SAG nominations and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
Amy Prentiss was an Ironside spinoff in the 1970s following a San Francisco police detective.
Jessica Walter played the starring role as the titular character.
For that role, she received an Emmy.
Jessica’s husband, Ron Liebman, passed away on December 6, 2019.
She is survived by her daughter, Brooke Bowman, who is Senior Vice President of Drama Programming at Fox Entertainment.
Jessica is also survived by her grandson, Micah Heymann.
It fell upon Brooke Bowman to release a statement on her mother’s passing.
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” she began.
“A working actor for over six decades,” she acknowledged, “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,” Bowman acknowledged.
Her statement concluded: “She will also be remembered by many for her wit, class, and overall joie de vivre.”
The cultural impact of Jessica Walter cannot be overstated.
Arrested Development was already a cult hit before it was picked up and renewed by Netflix a decade ago.
Jessica’s portrayal of a larger-than-life wealthy mother whose toxic habits shaped her dysfunctional children is without parallel.
On the animated adult action/comedy Archer, she voiced Malory, the tough-as-nails leader of a spy agency and a similarly toxic mother.
Even people who have somehow avoided seeing Jessica in any of her extremely memorable, powerful acting roles know her.
Why? Because she is one of the most memed faces on the planet, particular when delivering memorable lines as Lucille Bluth.
If you’re looking to laugh instead of cry, we know the feeling. Check out this short but sweet supercut of Lucille Bluth’s greatest lines.