After news broke on Thursday that the legendary Jessica Walter had died, celebrities took to social media to share condolences and fond memories of the award-winning actress.
Walter, who was 80, was best known for her portrayal of Lucille Bluth in “Arrested Development.” Her career spanned more than six decades and included other iconic roles, such as Malory Archer in “Archer” and the title character in the 1970s crime drama “Amy Prentiss.”
In addition to film and TV, Walter also found success in theater, starring in Broadway productions like “Advise & Consent,” Neil Simon’s “Rumors,” “A Severed Head,” “Nightlife” and “Photo Finish,” which earned her the Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Newcomer.
Jason Bateman, who starred as Michael Bluth on “Arrested Development,” paid tribute to his on-screen mom.
“R.I.P. Jessica Walter. What an incredible career, filled with amazing performances,” he tweeted. “I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life. She was one of a kind. All my love and thoughts to her family.”
R. I. P. Jessica Walter. What an incredible career, filled with amazing performances. I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life. She was one of a kind. All my love and thoughts to her family.
— Jason Bateman (@batemanjason) March 25, 2021
“She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched,” Tony Hale said. “Rest In Peace Mama Bluth.”
She was a force, and her talent and timing were unmatched. Rest In Peace Mama Bluth. pic.twitter.com/wJeOeJleR3
— Tony Hale (@MrTonyHale) March 25, 2021
Hale played Walter’s son, Buster Bluth, on “Arrested Development.”
David Cross, who also starred in “Arrested Development” alongside Walter, tweeted, “I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her.”
I just heard the shitty news about Jessica Walter an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent. I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of TV's greatest characters
— david cross✍ (@davidcrosss) March 25, 2021
Will Arnett honored Walter on Twitter, saying he is “fortunate to have had a front row seat to her brilliance for 25 years” and offering thoughts for Walter’s daughter, Brooke, and grandson, Micah. Arnett played one of Walter’s sons, Gob Bluth, on “Arrested Development.”
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
Alia Shawkat, who played Walter’s granddaughter Maeby Fünke in “Arrested Development,” posted a tribute on Instagram, writing, “love you Gangie.”
“Jessica Walter never missed,” wrote John Levenstein, who produced and wrote for “Arrested Development.” “If she didn’t get a laugh there was a problem with the script.”
Jessica Walter never missed. If she didn’t get a laugh there was a problem with the script.
— John Levenstein (@johnlevenstein) March 25, 2021
“Archer” star Aisha Tyler called Walter “a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support.”
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. You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you. 💔 pic.twitter.com/0fsXh6CwbS
— Aisha Tyler (@aishatyler) March 25, 2021
Viola Davis honored Walter on Twitter, writing, “I grew up watching you AND admiring you.”
Oh man!! I loved you Jessica Walter. I grew up watching you AND admiring you. Always consistently excellent. Rest well 💛 https://t.co/40d22s6pA1
— Viola Davis (@violadavis) March 25, 2021
Dylan Gelula, who worked with Walter on “Jennifer Falls,” also took to Twitter to share a memory of the late actress. Attaching a photo from the show, Gelula called Walter “one of the sharpest funniest hardest working actors” she will ever know.
jessica played my grandmother on one of my 1st jobs in 2014. i got to meet one of the sharpest funniest hardest working actors ill ever know right out of the gate. once she turned to me and said "dont let them fuck with you". im still not positive what she meant but she was right pic.twitter.com/bxsiYVlmfH
— dylan gelula (@DylanGelula) March 25, 2021
Adam Reed, creator and executive producer of “Archer,” said in a statement, “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, the network behind “Archer,” released a statement that reads, “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.”
Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA, wrote in a statement, “Our hearts are saddened by the passing of Jessica Walter. She was a gifted actor and unionist. Not only did Jessica win an Emmy but was nominated for multiple SAG Awards and served her fellow members as a Screen Actors Guild National Vice President for nearly a decade. On behalf of all members, I express our gratitude for her service and offer my condolences to her family and friends.”
Walter joined SAG-AFTRA in 1960 and served as a national VP for the union from 1975 to 1983.
See more reactions below:
Jessica Walter was an unparalleled talent. So funny. So insanely good in everything she was in. Wonderful to be around. I will miss her.
— h. jon benjamin (@HJBenjamin) March 25, 2021
OH NO …We worked together for years on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT ..It was an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row . https://t.co/edVRAPsKRk
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) March 25, 2021
One of the highlights of my life. Jessica Walter epitomized humor and class her entire career. Honestly was anyone funnier than Lucille Bluth?? No. 💔 pic.twitter.com/1HnPJVoZjl
— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) March 25, 2021
Jessica Walter was the funniest part of the funniest show on television and she made it look easy. Her delivery of "Oh really – did nothing cancel?" and "She tried pesto!" and "Is Rosa alive? No? Ok this is not my day." will make me laugh forever.
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) March 25, 2021
RIP Jessica Walter. Her reaction to Gene Parmesan was always so damn funny. https://t.co/AW8J0tVnGs
— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) March 25, 2021
Rest In Peace, Jessica Walter.
I want to cry so bad, but I don’t think I can spare the moisture. pic.twitter.com/z2YcubswkX
— Brian Lynch (@BrianLynch) March 25, 2021