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Jessica Walter dead at 80: Emmy-winning Arrested Development actress passes away in her sleep

Jessica Walter, best known for her work on Arrested Development, has died at 80 after a career that spanned six decades.

The actress passed away in her sleep at her home in New York City on Wednesday, March 24.

Her daughter Brooke Bowman confirmed the news as she said in a statement: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. 

 

Sad news: Jessica Walter(seen in May 2018), best known for her work on Arrested Development, has died at 80 after a career that spanned six decades

Signature role: She starred as Lucille Bluth on all five seasons of the sitcom

Signature role: She starred as Lucille Bluth on all five seasons of the sitcom

‘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.’

Her signature role was starring as Lucille Bluth in critically-acclaimed series Arrested Development throughout all five seasons. 

Legend: Though she may be best known for her work on Arrested Development, she earned her Primetime Emmy Award in 1975 for her role in Amy Prentis, Walter is seen here with Peter Falk of Columbo in May 1975

Legend: Though she may be best known for her work on Arrested Development, she earned her Primetime Emmy Award in 1975 for her role in Amy Prentis, Walter is seen here with Peter Falk of Columbo in May 1975

Leading lady: She won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her titular role in the crime drama which was centered around a woman becoming the new detective chief in San Francisco

Leading lady: She won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her titular role in the crime drama which was centered around a woman becoming the new detective chief in San Francisco

The sitcom aired on Fox for the first three seasons from 2003 to 2005 before being revived on Netflix in 2018. 

Though she may be best known for her work on Arrested Development, she earned her Primetime Emmy Award in 1975 for her role in Amy Prentis. 

She won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her titular role in the crime drama which was centered around a woman becoming the new detective chief in San Francisco.

Storied career:  Walter enjoyed a storied career which spanned six decades which began in 1951, she is seen in London back in 1966

Storied career:  Walter enjoyed a storied career which spanned six decades which began in 1951, she is seen in London back in 1966

Walter enjoyed a storied career which spanned six decades which began on television series Love Of Life in 1951. 

Walter´s feature debut was in the 1964 film Lilith, with Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg and Gene Hackman, who was also on his first film.

She also snagged a role in John Frankenheimer´s racing epic Grand Prix, from 1966, as the glamorous but discontented wife of a Formula One racer who falls for another driver. 

That same year she appeared in Sidney Lumet’s The Group, a female-led ensemble about the graduates of a prestigious university (Walter played the catty Libby), and acted for Lumet again in 1968’s Bye Bye Braverman.

Making her name: Her breakout role came when she starred in Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, Play Misty For Me, in 1971

Making her name: Her breakout role came when she starred in Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, Play Misty For Me, in 1971

Her breakout role came when she starred in Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, Play Misty For Me, in 1971.

She later did voice acting work for animated series Archer with H. Jon Benjamin and Aisha Tyler through all 11 seasons from 2009 to 2020. 

The star’s accomplishments did not just happen on the stage and screen as she also served as the second National Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild and was an elected member of the SAG Board of Directors for over a decade.

Celebrities paid tribute to the actress on social media including Henry Winkler who starred with her on Arrested Development.

The 75-year-old actor took to his Twitter on Thursday to write: ‘OH NO …We worked together for years on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT ..It was an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row.’

Tony Hale – who played Lucille’s son Buster Bluth on Arrested Development –  shared a selfie of the two of them with the caption: ‘She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace, Mama Bluth.’

'It was an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row': Celebrities paid tribute to the actress on social media including Henry Winkler who starred with her on Arrested Development

‘It was an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row’: Celebrities paid tribute to the actress on social media including Henry Winkler who starred with her on Arrested Development

Motherboy: Tony Hale - who played Lucille's son Buster Bluth on Arrested Development - shared a selfie of the two of them with the caption: 'She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace, Mama Bluth'

Motherboy: Tony Hale – who played Lucille’s son Buster Bluth on Arrested Development – shared a selfie of the two of them with the caption: ‘She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace, Mama Bluth’

'Jessica Walter was a queen in every way': Aisha Tyler starred alongside her in animated series Archer and shared this touching tribute

‘Jessica Walter was a queen in every way’: Aisha Tyler starred alongside her in animated series Archer and shared this touching tribute

Sad: The celebrity tributes to Walter were posted throughout social media

Sad: The celebrity tributes to Walter were posted throughout social media 

'RIP and a true story': New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Walter had sent her an email asking her to take down her Twitter avatar of her Arrested Development character

‘RIP and a true story’: New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Walter had sent her an email asking her to take down her Twitter avatar of her Arrested Development character

As she has played quite the range of characters including Lucille Bluth and Amy Prentis, Walter had marveled at her roles.

After watching footage of a few of her roles, she told Elle magazine in February 2019: ‘I thought, Wow, I guess I am a character actor. Because even my “leading ladies”—you know, in air quotes—were characters.

‘They were not Miss Vanilla Ice Cream. They weren’t holding the horse while John Wayne galloped into the sunset.’

Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything: Walter seen with Arrested Development co-stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, and Jeffrey Tambor as they are seen in September 2014

Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything: Walter seen with Arrested Development co-stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, and Jeffrey Tambor as they are seen in September 2014

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk