Celebrities and costars remember comedy legend Jessica Walter: 'She was a force'
"Jessica was a consummate professional, an actor's actor, and the exact opposite of Malory Archer," Archer creator Adam Reed shared. See more tributes from her costars and admirers.
Walter's acting career spanned more than six decades and included roles in films like Play Misty for Me, Broadway plays like Anything Goes, and sitcoms like Arrested Development and Archer. As a result she worked with many collaborators over the years, and several shared heart-warming tributes after her death.
"The Archer family is heartbroken to lose Jessica Walter, our beloved colleague and friend," series creator Adam Reed said in a statement. "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."
In an interview with EW last summer for our "30 perfect TV punchlines" package, Reed hailed Walter's professionalism at portraying the show's mean matriarch Malory Archer.
"I always tried to make her sound as mean and awful as possible, as cutting and acidic as possible, and then count on Jessica Walter's delivery to still make you love Malory no matter how mean the thing was that she said," Reed told EW. "There have been a few times where, recording things in the voice-over sessions, we'd be on the phone in Atlanta and Jessica would be in New York. She was always meticulously prepared with post-its on every page, especially for really weird and sophomoric sex jokes. She would say, 'now, what is this?' It'd just be something unrepeatable. I'd explain it to her and there'd be a pause and she'd go, 'oh, Adam.' And then she would nail the line just like Malory. I can't count how many horrible things that I introduced to Jessica Walter's consciousness, things she could have happily not known about."
H. Jon Benjamin, who plays the title character of Archer, said that Walter was "wonderful to be around" and "so insanely good in everything she was in." Aisha Tyler, who voices spy Lana Kane, called Walter "a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support. And so insanely funny."
Some of Walter's Arrested Development costars weighed in as well. Tony Hale, who played son Buster to Walter's Lucille Bluth on the series, wrote that "her talent and timing were unmatched" — a perspective surely shared by all the people who have shared reaction gifs of Lucille over the years. David Cross, who played Lucille's son-in-law Tobias, tweeted that "I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her."
See more tributes from Walter's costars and admirers below.