Jessica Walter, star of ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Archer,’ dies at 80

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Jessica Walter, the veteran actor who played comically self-involved matriarchs in both “Arrested Development” and “Archer,” has died, her family said Thursday.

The 80-year-old Walter passed away in her sleep in New York City on Wednesday, a representative for the actor said.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica,” daughter Brooke Bowman said in 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.”

Younger fans of Walter will know her best for playing Lucille Bluth, who regularly stole scenes with absurdly cruel and cutting comments about her on-screen children in the critically acclaimed sitcom “Arrested Development.”

Walter said she reveled in playing unsympathetic characters.

“I love watching movies with people that I hate. I love those old movies with Bette Davis where she’s the evil one,” she told IndieWire in 2013.

“Because we all have that in us, and we can’t really act on it as the audience, but we can watch the actor act on it and it sort of releases those feelings in us.”

“She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched,” said “Arrested” co-star Tony Hale, who played her son, Buster Bluth. “Rest In Peace Mama Bluth.”

David Cross, who played Lucille Bluth’s son-in-law Tobias Fünke, called Walter “an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent.”

“I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her,” Cross said. “Lucille Bluth is one of TV’s greatest characters.”

Walter also gained acclaim with contemporary audiences for her wry voiceover work in the animated FXX series, “Archer,” playing Malory Archer, the hard-drinking mother of super spy Sterling Archer.





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