Award-winning actress Jessica Walter, known best for her role in the television series Arrested Development, has died at age 80, her daughter has confirmed in a released statement.
Walter died in her sleep at her home in New York City.
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” her daughter, Brooke Bowman, said 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.”
Walter was perhaps best known for playing Lucille Ball, the scheming matriarch in Arrested Development, and a stalker in Play Misty for Me. She won an Emmy for Best Actress in a Limited Series in 1975 for her role in Amy Prentiss, where she played the titular character – the first woman to become chief of detectives in the San Francisco Police Department.
As the news of her death made the rounds on social media, tributes poured in. Ron Howard tweeted “What a brilliant, funny, intelligent and strong woman. RIP Jessica Walter, and thank you for a lifetime of laughs and for sharing your incredible talent on our show and with the world.”
Archer‘s Amber Nash posted on Instagram, “I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with and know Jessica. She was the best of us. “She would wait for a moment and then blow us all out of the water with the funniest thing you’ve ever heard. I learned so much from Jessica. A classy gal indeed.”
Walter grew up in New York City, graduating from New York’s High School of the Performing Arts. She made her Broadway debut in 1963’s Photo Finish and later starred in the TV series Love of Life from 1962 to 1965.
Words by Stephen Michael
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