Walter died in her sleep at her home in New York City on Wednesday, her daughter Brooke Bowman announced. Walter earned Golden Globe nominations for her memorable roles in the 1966 film Grand Prix and the 1971 film Play Misty for Me. She won her only Emmy in 1975 for playing the title role in NBC's Amy Prentiss, a spinoff of Ironside, starring as the first female Chief of Detectives for the San Francisco Police Department. But Walter will best be remembered as Lucille Bluth, the alcoholic matriarch of Arrested Development, a role that earned her an Emmy nomination and the Internet's love as the show's most GIFable character. In fact, she could be considered Arrested's biggest star. "Always drinking, always exuding an air of entitlement, the sarcastic Lucille was at the center of an ever-evolving mess of a once-wealthy, now desperate family on the Fox/Netflix sitcom. Her razor-sharp work was a huge reason for the show's cult appeal, and her lines became catchphrases and her mannerisms memes," writes Chris Koseluk. In a 2013 Vanity Fair interview, Walter recalled Arrested creator Mitch Hurwitz telling her that Lucille and Gob were the hardest roles to cast. "I remember the day that I went to audition," she said. "They had seen my tape and the next day they flew me out to L.A. to meet the network. Will Arnett was there, along with about five other actors. I was the only one for Lucille that day. I got the offer right then and there. And I said, 'O.K., I’ll be back for the pilot!'" Walter also described how she channeled Lucille. "I knew some people in real life, and I also tried to use things inside myself," she said. "We all feel anger and rage. We all have the feelings that Lucille has, somewhere. Everybody wants to kill somebody at one time or another. Or keep up a lifestyle that they really shouldn’t. I tried to use those things inside myself to keep it close to the vest and not let it become a caricature." Walter also voiced Malory Archer on FXX’s animated series Archer since 2009. Walter's last TV appearance was just last month on American Housewife. Walter's death comes 15 months after the death of her husband and fellow Archer actor Ron Leibman. Walter's survivors include daughter Brooke Bowman, who is Fox Entertainment's senior vice president of drama programming. “It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica," Bowman said 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.”
Farewell Jessica, you’ll be missed.
TOPICS: Jessica Walter, Amy Prentiss, Archer, Arrested Development, Dinosaurs, Adam Reed, Alia Shawkat, David Cross, Henry Winkler, Jason Bateman, Mitch Hurwitz, Ron Leibman, Tony Hale, Will Arnett, Obits