Jessica Walter, 'Arrested Development' Star, Dead at 80

Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth in 'Arrested Development'
Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth in 'Arrested Development' (Image credit: Netflix)

Jessica Walter, who starred as the Bluth family matriarch in Arrested Development, died Wednesday at her New York City home in her sleep. She was 80.

"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom, Jessica," said Walter's daughter Brooke Bowman, who is senior VP of programming and development Fox. "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.”

Walter, whose career spanned six decades, began her turn as Lucille Bluth in the quirky cult comedy Arrested Development in 2003, appearing in all five seasons. She also voiced Mallory Archer in the FXX TV series Archer.

“Jessica Walter’s spectacular turn as the devilish Lucille Bluth is one of the great comedic performances of television history, and we loved working with her as much as audiences loved her on Arrested Development," 20th Television said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to her family and friends, particularly her daughter, and our former colleague, Brooke. We know that heaven just got a whole lot funnier with Jessica now in residence.”

Other notable TV roles include Amy Prentiss, for which she won an Emmy, and guest spots on Trapper John, M.D., The Streets of San Francisco, The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote.

On the big screen she starred opposite Clint Eastwood in Play Misty for Me, in Slums of Beverly Hills and in The Flamingo Kid, among others. Tributes to her on Thursday came from Viola Davis, Tony Hale and Netflix, among others.

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Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.