Jessica Walter dies, aged 80 – Arrested Development and Archer co-stars pay tribute

The Arrested Development star died on Wednesday at the age of 80.

Jessica Walter

Tributes have poured in to mark the death of actress Jessica Walter, who has died aged 80 following a career spanning six decades.

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Walter is probably best remembered for her comic role as the spoilt and habitually tipsy matriarch Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. Her martini-sipping character was frequently heard delivering quips and one-liners as dry as her drinks.

Jason Bateman (Ozark) paid tribute to his “one of a kind” Arrested Development co-star in a statement via Twitter.

“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,” he wrote.

Will Arnett, who plays Gob Bluth on the comedy series, also paid tribute to his “deeply talented” co-star in a Twitter post.

“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.”

Arrested Development
Jessica Walter (far left) in the comedy series Arrested Development

Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz described Walter as one of the “funniest” actresses he had worked with.

“I’m stunned and so very sad to hear this news. Jessica was one of the sharpest, funniest people I’ve ever worked with — and I’ve been incredibly fortunate in working with some true great,” he said in a statement to Variety. “She was, to me, the best kind of comic actor — one who’s fearless in her willingness to draw upon the, shall we say, less desirable aspects of our character that, well … make us funny. She effortlessly sunk her teeth into depicting a type of mother that, given how people related to her, must be more common than is usually celebrated.”

Aisha Tyler, who was in the voice cast for animated series Archer alongside Walter, described her co-star was the “brilliant centre” of the show’s universe.

“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,” Tyler wrote in a Twitter post.

Stand-up comedian David Cross said Walter was “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,” Cross wrote on Twitter.

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Arrested Development is available to watch and stream on Netflix. If you’re looking for inspiration on what to watch next, check out our TV Guide or our dedicated Drama hub.