Jessica Walter, whose five decades of work in film and TV gave us unforgettable characters like Lucille Bluth and Mallory Archer, passed away in her sleep on March 24, 2021, aged 80.
Walter began her career on Broadway, winning a Clarence Derwent Award in 1963 for Outstanding Debut Broadway Performance. She quickly transitioned to television before making a mark for herself in Hollywood in 1971's 'Play Misty for Me,' where she portrayed a woman with borderline personality disorder who falls obsessively in love with a jockey.
Walter went on to star in many memorable films and worked steadily over the years, but became a true superstar and household name in the early 2000s with her portrayal of Lucille Bluth - the scheming, bitingly witty, insanely alcoholic matriarch of the Bluth family in 'Arrested Development,' a role which she reprived in 2018 after Netflix revived the now-cult classic sitcom.
Walter's disapproving side-eye was perhaps unmatched by anyone else in Hollywood, but her portrayal of Mallory Archer in the animated spy series 'Archer' proved that she could be equally hilarious and soul-crushing using *just* her voice.
****WARNING: 'Archer' is a fairly mature show and some clips below are NSFW.****
Between Lucille and Mallory, it's safe to say that Jessica Walter absolutely crushed it at being America's favorite 'Mean Mom.' Her charm and sense of comedy allowed each of those characters, morally detestable as they might be, to still be beloved by millions around the globe. We wish her family all the best during this difficult time.