The award-winning US actress Jessica Walter has died aged 80, her family have announced.
“With a heavy heart I confirm the passing of my beloved mother,” said Walter’s daughter Brooke Bowman.
“An actress who has been active for more than sixty years, her greatest joy has been bringing joy to others by telling them stories on and off screen,” said Ms. Bowman.
Walter is best known for starring as Lucille Bluth on the Arrested Development TV sitcom in the 2000s.
She also won an Emmy for starring in drama Amy Prentiss in the 1970’s.
“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 website Deadline, which first reported the news, quoted the family as saying that Walter had died asleep at her New York home.
Some of Walter’s most memorable lines in Arrested Development were delivered over a Vodka Martini or between glasses of wine
During her long career, Walter starred in many popular TV shows and sitcoms, such as NCIS and Law & Order, and appeared in numerous films.
She also starred in 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 her a Golden Globe nomination.
She also starred in Grand Prix (1966), which also saw her nominated for a Golden Globe.
Among her TV comedy cameos, Walter played Mrs Latham, a university benefactor who seduces Leonard in an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
Talent And Timing Unmatched
Tony Hale, who played Walter’s son Buster n Arrested Development, paid tribute to her, saying “her talent and timing were unmatched”.
Jason Bateman, who played Walter’s son Michael in the show, said she had had “an incredible career, filled with amazing performances”.
“I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life,” he wrote on Twitter. “She was one of a kind.”
Will Arnett, another star of the show, remembered her as “a deeply talented person” he had first encountered in 1996.
“I was instantly blown away,” he wrote on his own Twitter account. “I’m fortunate to have had a front row seat to her brilliance for 25 years.”
Director Ron Howard, Arrested Development’s narrator and producer, described Walter as “a brilliant, funny, intelligent and strong woman”.
“Thank you for a lifetime of laughs and for sharing your incredible talent on our show and with the world,” the film-maker continued.