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Jessica Walter: Emmy Award-winning Arrested Development actress has died aged 80

Written by on 25 March 2021

Jessica Walter, the Emmy Award-winning actress known for playing Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development, has died at her home in New York.

The American actress died in her sleep on Wednesday, aged 80, a representative confirmed on Thursday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” said Walter’s daughter Brooke Bowman in a short 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 won an Emmy for her role in the mid-1970s series Amy Prentiss, a spin-off of from US crime drama Ironside.

She was also nominated for several more for her roles in Trapper John, M.D. and Streets of San Francisco.

For her part as the comically self-involved matriarch in sitcom Arrested Development, the actress earned another Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actress, along with two Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations.

Tony Hale, her Arrested co-star, paid tribute to Walter on Thursday night, writing in a tweet: “She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest in Peace Mama Bluth.”

Fellow co-star David Cross remembered Walter in a statement as “an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent”.

He added: “I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of TV’s greatest characters.”

Walter also gained acclaim over acting career with her roles in films such as Clint Eastwood’s Play Misty for Me, and voicing the part of Malory Archer on the animated series Archer.

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