In very sad news, Arrested Development star Jessica Walter passed away at the age of 80 on March 24.
The beloved actress died peacefully in her sleep at her home in New York City, leaving fans and former colleagues devastated by the loss.
Her daughter, Brooke Bowman, confirmed the news in a press statement saying:
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mum, Jessica. 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.”
While best known for playing madcap matriarch Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, Walters was also popular as the voice of Malory Archer on the FX animated series Archer, and also as the titular character on police drama Amy Prentiss, for which she won a Primetime Emmy.
The actress was first nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as the unhappy wife of an American race car driver in Grand Prix and was nominated again in 1971 for her chilling portrayal of Evelyn Draper in Play Misty for Me.
Walter’s legacy is an impressive one, given the fact that her career spanned so many decades, but the character of Lucille — the mean spirited, martini swilling mother who adopted a Korean child just to spite Buster — is the stuff of legend.
Lucille may not have cared for son Gob — played by Will Arnett — but Jessica and Arnett obviously had a great working relationship with the comedian and actor sharing this Tweet about her passing:
Jessica Walter was a deeply talented person
We first met on a pilot in ‘96 and I was instantly blown away
I’m fortunate to have had a front row seat to her brilliance for 25 years
My thoughts are with her daughter Brooke and grandson Micah today
Farewell Jessica, you’ll be missed
— Will Arnett™ (@arnettwill) March 25, 2021
Here, we pay homage to the immeasurably talented Jessica Walter, with some of Lucille’s best quotes.
“I don’t care for Gob.”
So savage. So funny. This cutaway hits all of the right notes, arriving just seconds after Lucille insists she loves all of her children equally. Said as she sips one of her trademark martinis, the line is delivered almost as though it just occurred to her that her magician offspring is not the best.
“I mean, it’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost? 10 dollars?”
Oh, Lucille. Lucille, Lucille, Lucille.
“If that’s a veiled criticism about me, I won’t hear it and I won’t respond to it.”
Honestly, I cannot keep count of the number of times I have used this one. Thank you Mama Bluth, thank you.
“I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.”
Again, one for the ages and one I use on a very regular basis.
This line was made all the more hilarious by the fact that Lucille says it to a waitress at Klimpy’s when ordering an Ike and Tina Tuna and is asked if she would like a “Plate or platter?”.
“I’d have to get up pretty early to be drunk by one o’clock.”