Jessica Walter, the Emmy Award-winning actress best known for her roles as Malorie Archer on Archer and Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, passed away in her sleep on Wednesday in her home in New York City. She was 80 years old.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica," her daughter Brooke Bowman, SVP Drama Programming at Fox Entertainment told Deadline 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 began her five-decade-long acting career on stage in her hometown of NYC, before eventually moving on to television and film, with roles in projects like Play Misty For Me (Clint Eastwood's directorial debut) as well as series like NBC's Amy Prentiss, the latter of which won her an Emmy Award for her performance as the titular character. Walter also starred in the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs, where she voiced Fran Sinclair from 1991 to 1994, followed by guest roles on Babylon 5 in 1994 and The Magic Schoolbus in 1996.
However, younger viewers will most likely be familiar with some of her most recent roles, that of Bluth family matriarch Lucille on the Fox-turned-Netflix sitcom Arrested Development, as well as Malory Archer on the FXX animated spy-fi series Archer, the former Chief Executive Officer of ISIS and the mother of Sterling Archer.
"Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love and support," tweeted co-star Aisha Tyler (below). "And so insanely funny. She was the brilliant center of our Archer universe. Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica. You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you."
She is survived by her daughter, Bowman, and grandson Micah Heymann.
Instead of flowers, her family have asked that donations be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind.