Arrested Development star Jessica Walter dies aged 80

Jessica Walter. File photo
Jessica Walter played Lucille Bluth in the cult TV show Arrested Development

The award-winning US actress Jessica Walter has died aged 80, her family says.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom,” Walter’s daughter Brooke Bowman said.

“A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off,” Ms Bowman said.

Walter is best known for playing icy matriarch Lucille Bluth in the Arrested Development TV sitcom in the 2000s.

She also won an Emmy for starring as a detective in the police drama Amy Prentiss in the 1970s.

“While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class and overall joie de vivre,” Ms Bowman said.

The Deadline website, which first reported the news, quoted the family as saying that Walter had died in her sleep at her home in New York.

During her long career, Walter starred in several popular TV dramas and sitcoms, like NCIS and Law & Order, and also appeared in a number of films. She also voiced Malory Archer in the animated series Archer.

One of Walter’s starring movie performances was alongside Clint Eastwood in his 1971 directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, earning a Golden Globe nomination. She also starred in Grand Prix (1966).

Among her TV comedy cameos, Walter played Mrs Latham, a university benefactor who seduces Leonard in an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Tony Hale, who played Walter’s son in Arrested Development, paid tribute to her, saying “her talent and timing were unmatched”.

US actor and stand-up comedian David Cross described Walter as “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 in a twitter post.

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