Actress Jessica Walter died in her sleep on Wednesday

By Jodi Guglielmi
March 25, 2021 03:04 PM
Advertisement

Jessica Walter, award-winning actress and Arrested Development star, has died. She was 80.

Her daughter, Brooke Bowman, confirms to PEOPLE. Walter died in her sleep on Wednesday while staying at her home in New York City.

"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off," Bowman said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "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."

Deadline was the first to report the news.

For more on Jessica Walter, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

Walter's impressive career spanned nearly five decades and featured in a variety of roles including a turn in Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, Play Misty for Me to The Flamingo Kid. She also earned Emmy nominations for her work in both Trapper John M..D. and Streets of San Francisco. Walter won later won the coveted award for her role in Amy Prentiss.

Arrested DevelopmentSeason 5, Episode 11Jessica Walter
Credit: Netflix

But the actress was perhaps best known as Lucille Bluth in the Fox-turned Netflix hit Arrested Development. Her role as the eccentric matriarch earned her an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actress and two Screen Actors Guild Award nods.

Along with her work on screen, Walter was also a veteran stage performer, appearing in several shows including Tartuffe and Photo Finish, and picking up Tony Awards for her turn in Anything Goes.

Most recently, since 2009, Walter provided the voice for sharp-tongued matriarch Malory Archer on FX and FXX's Archer. She also made an appearance in an episode of American Housewife.

Archer's creator and executive producer Adam Reed said in a statement to PEOPLE on Thursday, "The Archer family is heartbroken to lose Jessica Walter, our beloved colleague and friend. Jessica was a consummate professional, an actor's actor, and the exact opposite of Malory Archer – warm, caring, and kind, with an absolutely cracking sense of humor – and it was both a privilege and a true honor to work with her over these many years. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten."

FX said in a statement: "We are utterly heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jessica Walter. She was a comedic genius and a brilliant actor who personified wit, grace and elegance. Jessica's 'Malory Archer' served as the bedrock character for the series and we were always honored to have her as member of our FX family. Words cannot describe the monumental loss we and the Archer producers and cast feel. We extend our love, appreciation and condolences to Jessica's family."

Walter was previously married to actor Ron Leibman before his death in 2019. Along with Bowman, Walter is survived by her grandson Micah Heymann.