Jessica Walter died in her sleep on Wednesday

By Gabrielle Chung
March 25, 2021 05:27 PM
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Fans and celebrities are honoring Jessica Walter, who died in her sleep on Wednesday while staying at her home in New York City. She was 80.

The award-winning actress' daughter, Brooke Bowman, confirmed her death to PEOPLE in a statement: "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."

"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," Bowman said.

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

Walter's friends and former colleagues and castmates also paid tribute to the star on social media.

"She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched," Tony Hale, who played the son of Walter's Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, captioned a photo of the pair together on set. "Rest In Peace Mama Bluth."

"I just heard the s----- news about Jessica Walter an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent," David Cross tweeted. "I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of TV's greatest characters."

On Instagram, Alia Shawkat wrote in a tribute to her late costar, "💔love you Gangie #jessicawalters."

Henry Winkler, who made multiple appearances on the show, reacted to news of Walter's death on Twitter. "OH NO ...We worked together for years on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT," he wrote. "It was an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row."

H. Jon Benjamin, who worked with Walter on the animated series Archer, wrote on Twitter, "Jessica Walter was an unparalleled talent. So funny. So insanely good in everything she was in. Wonderful to be around. I will miss her."

Archer star Aisha Tyler tweeted, "Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support. And so insanely funny. She was the brilliant center of our @archerfxx universe."

"Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica," Tyler, 50, continued. "You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you."

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.

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

Most recently, Walter voiced the character of Malory Archer on FXX's animated series Archer and made an appearance in an episode of American Housewife.

Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter
| Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

In the wake of Walter's death, many also looked back on the legacy she left behind.

"Oh man!! I loved you Jessica Walter. I grew up watching you AND admiring you. Always consistently excellent. Rest well," Viola Davis tweeted.

"I loved Jessica Walter," director Edgar Wright shared. "For me, knowing her mostly from dramatic work in films like 'Play Misty For Me' just made the comic genius of her turn in 'Arrested Development' even more delightful. You can watch her reactions shots on a loop. Lucille Bluth Forever."

"This is so incredibly sad," tweeted Paul Feig. "I loved Jessica so much. She was so funny and marched to the tune of her own drummer. A true original whom I had the honor of working with several times. So much love to you, Jessica. Rest In Peace. ❤️❤️❤️."