A living legend, Jessica Walter has definitely earned her stripes in the entertainment industry. Having been an actress for several decades, she has played many iconic roles over the years. Jessica first gained widespread popularity for portraying the character of Evelyn Draper in the movie Play Misty for Me. However, she is best known for her role as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development and for voicing the character, Malory Archer in Archer.
The entertainer, who is known for her great acting skills and amazing stage presence, is no doubt one of the most talented actors of her time. To learn more about Jessica Walter, read her profile below.
Jessica Walter’s Biography
She was born on January 31, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York, to Esther Groisser Walter and David Walter. Her mother was a housewife while her father was a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. She is also the sister of famous American scriptwriter Richard Walter.
Sadly, there is no concrete information about her educational background, but we learned that she studied and finished from the High School of Performing Arts in New York.
Walter married her first husband, Ross Bowman, in 1966; the two were married for 12 years and had a daughter – Brooke Bowman, who was born in 1972. The pair, due to irreconcilable differences, separated and ended their marriage in 1978. After the divorce, Walter found love again in the arms of a fellow actor – Ron Leibman, with whom she has appeared in Neil Simon, Dummy and Law & Order. The lovebirds tied the knot in the presence of their families and friends at a wedding ceremony in 1983. They have remained blissfully happy ever since.
Movies and TV Shows
Jessica Walter started her acting career as a stage performer but later joined the television industry, appearing as Julie Murano in the TV Show Love of Life, which aired from 1962 to 1965. She also appeared in well-known TV shows such as The Doctors and the Nurses, Naked City, East Side/West Side, Ben Casey, Route 66, The Defenders and The Rogues.
In 1964, she portrayed Lorna Richmond on an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and was also later featured in an episode of Flipper in 1964. She played the character of William Shatner’s wife in the show For the People in 1965, appeared in How Much for a Prince in that same year and in The Fugitive in 1966.
One of her most recognized works was when she played Evelyn Draper in Play Misty for Me; her character was a young woman with bipolar. She also appeared in Lilith as Laura (1964), Grand Pix as Pat Stoddard (1966), The Group as Libby (1966), Bye Bye Braverman as Inez Braverman (1968) and Number one as Julie Catlan (1969).
Jessica Walter later went ahead to feature in the miniseries Bare Essence and in Amy Prentiss as the titular character. In 1984, she was a cast member on The Flamingo Kid, Terror In The Aisle and Three’s A Crowd. She went through the 80s and into the 90s, garnering roles in films and TV shows.
She was later offered the role of Lucille Bluth on the hit TV show, Arrested Development in which she won several awards and even landed an Emmy nomination. This is easily one of her most iconic roles of all time.
Her other works include an appearance in Rules of Engagement, Law & Order: Suv, NCIS, The Old Couple, Jennifer Falls and Difficult People. Jessica Walter also voiced the character of Miss Heinous in Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Tabitha in Turbo F.A.S.T and Athena in Justice League Action.
Jessica Walter’s Career Achievements
The talented actress has received several major awards for her impressive acting skills. She won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer – Female for the movie Grand pix where she perfectly played the character, Pat Stoddard.
She later won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie award at the 1974 Primetime Emmy Award for her role as Amy Prentiss in Amy Prentiss. In 2003, she nabbed the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her role as Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development; in 2004, she won the TV Land Award for Future Classic in 2004 for the same role.
She has also received various enviable nominations including the Golden Globes nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama in 1971, Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2005, and many more.