Jessica Walter, ‘Arrested Development’ Star, Dies at 80


Jessica Walter, whose six-decade performing profession included roles starting from an obsessed radio fan in Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, “Play Misty for Me,” to the chopping, martini-swilling matriarch of the dysfunctional Bluth household on “Arrested Improvement,” died at her residence in New York Metropolis on Wednesday. She was 80.

Ms. Walter’s dying was confirmed by her publicist, Kelli Jones, who didn’t specify a trigger.

In an extended and wide-ranging profession, Ms. Walter received quite a few awards, together with an Emmy for “Amy Prentiss” in 1975. She acquired three Emmy nominations, for “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Trapper John, M.D.” and “Arrested Development.” She was additionally nominated for 2 Golden Globe Awards, for “Play Misty for Me” and “Grand Prix.”

Ms. Walter started her profession in New York Metropolis, her hometown, and appeared in quite a few Broadway productions, together with “Advise and Consent,” Neil Simon’s “Rumors,” “A Severed Head,” “Night time Life” and “Picture End.” She additionally starred within the Broadway revival of “Something Goes,” which received a number of Tony Awards.

Lately, she was launched to a brand new technology within the position of Lucille Bluth on “Arrested Improvement,” the zany, self-referential sitcom a few narcissistic household that was critically adored when it debuted in 2003 however didn’t construct an viewers over three seasons on Fox. The present was a cult favourite and Ms. Walter mentioned she was usually stopped on the subway and buses by followers who informed her, “You understand, you look so much like that girl that performs Lucille Bluth.”

“I say, ‘You understand, I’ve heard that,’” she informed The New York Times in 2018. “You understand, Lucille is in my DNA now.”

Jessica Walter was born in New York Metropolis on Jan. 31, 1941. Her father, David Walter, was a musician and a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Metropolis Ballet Orchestra. Her mom, Esther Groisser, was a trainer. Ms. Walter attended the Excessive College of Performing Arts.

She was married twice, first to Ross Bowman, a Broadway stage supervisor, and in 1983 to the Tony-winning actor Ron Leibman, who died in 2019. Each had carried out collectively in a 1986 manufacturing of “Tartuffe” on the Los Angeles Theater Heart. Extra just lately, they’d voiced characters on the animated collection “Archer.”

Ms. Walter’s survivors embody her daughter, Brooke Bowman, and a grandson.

A full obituary will probably be printed shortly.

Neil Genzlinger contributed reporting.



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