Jessica Walter, beloved ‘Arrested Development’ star with a long resume, dies at 80

Jessica Walter, an actor whose career spanned six decades and included signature roles on “Arrested Development” and “Archer,” has died, her publicist has confirmed. She was 80.

The Emmy winner for lead actress in TV’s “Amy Prentiss” died in her sleep Wednesday 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 Thursday. “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.”

In recent years, Walter played Malory Archer on the FX television series “Archer” and Lucille Bluth on Fox’s “Arrested Development.”

In addition to her Emmy win, Walter was nominated three other times for the award, for work on “Arrested Development,” “Trapper John, M.D.” and “The Streets of San Francisco.” She was nominated for two Golden Globes, for the films “Grand Prix” (1966) and “Play Misty for Me” (1971).

After starting her career on stage, Walter worked with New York’s famed Playwrights Horizons and the Los Angeles Theatre Center. She also served as second national vice president of the Screen Actors Guild and was an elected member of the SAG board of directors for more than a decade.

Walter, who was predeceased by husband Ron Leibman in 2019, is survived by daughter Bowman, who is senior vice president for drama programming at Fox Entertainment, and grandson Micah Heymann.

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