Ron Howard Pays Tribute To “Brilliant, Funny” Jessica Walter; Other ‘Arrested Development’ & ‘Archer’ Co-Stars Share Memories

Actress Jessica Walter dies at age 80
Priscilla Grant/Everett Collection

Refresh for updates… After news broke on Wednesday of Jessica Walter’s death, tributes from co-stars, Hollywood friends and others began pouring out on social media.

Ron Howard—who narrated and executive produced the comedy Arrested Developmentin which she starred—tweeted, “What a brilliant, funny, intelligent and strong woman. RIP Jessica Walter, and thank you for a lifetime of laughs and for sharing your incredible talent on our show and with the world.”

Arrested Development‘s Jason Bateman, who played son Michael Bluth to Walter’s Lucille Bluth, wrote, “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.”

See all reactions and full statements below.

The award-winning actress passed away in her sleep at her New York City home. She was 80. Boasting a career that spanned five decades, Walters’ recent credits also included FX adult animated sitcom, Archer.

“I was so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with and know Jessica. She was the best of us,” said Archer‘s Amber Nash on Instagram. “She would wait for a moment and then blow us all out of the water with the funniest thing you’ve ever heard. I learned so much from Jessica. A classy gal indeed.”

Deadline will share more reactions as they come in…

FX Network: “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.”

Adam Reed, creator and executive producer of Archer: “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.”

20th Television: “Jessica Walter’s spectacular turn as the devilish Lucille Bluth is one of the great comedic performances of television history, and we loved working with her as much as audiences loved her on Arrested Development. Our hearts go out to her family and friends, particularly her daughter, and our former colleague, Brooke. We know that heaven just got a whole lot funnier with Jessica now in residence.”

SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris: “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.”

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