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Jessica Walter, Mom on Arrested Development and Co-star in Anything Goes, Dies at 80

Walter also voiced Fran Sinclair in the series Dinosaurs and Malory Archer on Archer.

Jessica Walter
(© David Gordon)

Emmy winner Jessica Walter has died at the age of 80. According to published reports, she died in her sleep on Wednesday, March 24, at her home in New York City.

Walter's career began on Broadway, making her debut as a replacement in the 1960 play Advise and Consent. She won a Clarence Derwent Award in 1963 for appearing in Peter Ustinov's Photo Finish. Her career subsequently took her to Hollywood, though she costarred in a handful of other Broadway productions, including Neil Simon's Rumors in 1988 and the 2011 Broadway revival of Anything Goes, where she played Mrs. Evangeline Harcourt.

She won an Emmy for starring in the 1970s series Amy Prentiss. Notably on the small screen, she voiced Fran Sinclair in the series Dinosaurs and Malory Archer on Archer. Her turn as Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development earned her another Emmy nomination, alongside nods for earlier work on Trapper John M.D. and Streets of San Francisco. Her wide array of film credits include a memorable turn in Clint Eastwood's Play Misty for Me and The Flamingo Kid. Walter served as 2nd National Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild, and was an elected member of the organization's board of directors for more than 10 years.

Walter is predeceased by her husband, actor Ron Liebman, to whom she was married from 1983 to his death in 2019. They appeared together in Rumors and Tartuffe on stage, and on screen in Dummy, Law & Order, and Archer, where he voiced her new husband. She is survived by her daughter, Brooke Bowman, and grandson Micah.

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