Jessica Walter passed away yesterday in her sleep at the age of 80. She was and always will be best-known for her roles as Lucille, overbearing, contemptuous, and smothering matron of the Bluth family in Arrested Development, as well Mallory, the equally overbearing, contemptuous, and smothering mother and spymaster in Archer. She was very, very good — and absolutely hilarious — at what she did.
The news comes today via Deadline. Over her long career, Walter also did voice work in many, many genre series, including Harley Quinn (as Granny Goodness), Justice League Action, Star Vs. the Forces of Evil, The Land Before Time, The Pirates of Dark Water, and the 1990s Dinosaurs sitcom (as Fran Sinclair), among others. However, her withering tone was best used in Archer.
Archer is back — in both a literal sense, with season 11 currently underway, and in a thematic sense. The main character, whose fanciful coma dreams guided seasons eight through 10, is finally in the real world, still recovering but also being the best, most obnoxious secret agent ever. Like...Read more
In addition, she had a few guest spots in some live-action genre shows, including Babylon 5 and the original Wonder Woman, and starred as the Marvel Comics sorceress Morgan le Fay in a pilot for a Doctor Strange TV series that didn’t get picked up, but you can find online.
Walter began her career in theatre in 1960 and pivoted to TV and movie work in 1964. Her list of credits is as long as it is impressive, and the entertainment world is poorer for her loss.
While we don’t know if she recorded her lines for the upcoming season of Archer, she appeared in an episode of American Housewife just last month. She is survived her daughter and grandson.