Jessica Walter

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Jessica Walter

Walter at a premiere party for 90210, Malibu, California, August 23, 2008
Born(1941-01-31) January 31, 1941 (age 72)
Brooklyn, New York,
United States
Years active1962–present
Spouse(s)Ross Bowman (1966-1978; divorced; 1 child)
Ron Leibman (1983-present)
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Jessica Walter

Walter at a premiere party for 90210, Malibu, California, August 23, 2008
Born(1941-01-31) January 31, 1941 (age 72)
Brooklyn, New York,
United States
Years active1962–present
Spouse(s)Ross Bowman (1966-1978; divorced; 1 child)
Ron Leibman (1983-present)

Jessica Walter (born January 31, 1941) is an American actress, known for the films Play Misty for Me, Grand Prix, and for her role as Lucille Bluth on the sitcom Arrested Development. She was a series regular for the first half of season one of 90210 as Tabitha Wilson, provided the voice of the character Fran Sinclair in the TV series Dinosaurs, and starred as the title character of the television series Amy Prentiss for which she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie.

Currently she is the voice actor for Malory Archer in the FX animated series Archer and stars as Elaine Robbins in Retired at 35.


Early life

Walter was born to a Jewish household in Brooklyn. She is the daughter of Esther (née Groisser) and David Walter, a musician of some note who was a member of the NBC Symphony, and the NYC Ballet Orchestra.[1][2] She was raised in Queens, New York, and graduated from Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. In the early 1960s, she trained alongside James Caan and Christopher Lloyd at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse before getting her big break, a regular role on the soap opera Love of Life.[3] She appeared on the show from 1962 to 1965.


She appeared in the first episode of Flipper in September 1964. Also in 1964, she guest starred with Jack Lord, Nick Adams, and Herb Edelman in the episode "How Much for a Prince?" of CBS's short-lived drama The Reporter, with Harry Guardino in the title role. Walter had a recurring role on Trapper John, M.D. as Melanie McIntyre, Trapper John's former wife. In 1966 she appeared in an episode of The Fugitive entitled "The White Knight."

Her earliest notable film role was in the 1971 movie Play Misty for Me, in which she played a young woman with borderline personality disorder stalking a disc jockey (played by Clint Eastwood in his directorial debut), for which she received a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama category.[4] Walter's other film credits from that era include Lilith, Grand Prix, The Group, Bye Bye Braverman, Number One and Dr. Strange.

In 1974, Walter co-starred with Peter Falk, Jose Ferrer and Lew Ayres in the Columbo episode "Mind Over Mayhem." During the 1974-75 TV season, she was the star of Amy Prentiss, a spinoff of Ironside that became an element of the NBC Mystery Movie. She was the producers' first choice for the role of "Alexis Carrington" in the primetime soap opera Dynasty. In 1983, she had a role in the short-lived NBC primetime soap opera Bare Essence as "Ava Marshall."

Since then, she has worked most frequently in television and theater, though she did make an appearance in the 1994 film PCU. In the 1990s, Walter voiced Fran Sinclair on the ABC comedy Dinosaurs, and appeared on Just Shoot Me! as Eve Gallo, the mother of Maya and the ex-wife of magazine publisher Jack Gallo (George Segal).

From 2003 to 2006, she appeared in a regular role as the scheming, alcoholic socialite matriarch Lucille Bluth on Fox's critically acclaimed comedy series, Arrested Development. Despite her convincing portrayal of Lucille (in 2005, Walter received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the role), the actress has maintained that "I'm nothing like Lucille. Nothing. My daughter will tell you. I'm really a very nice, boring person."[3] Walter played Tabitha Wilson, a similar character, on 90210, for the first thirteen episodes of the first season, before she was written off. She also guest starred on the situational comedy Rules of Engagement in the Season 1, Episode 5 "Kids." She currently voices spy boss Malory on the FX network's animated show Archer.

Walter guest-starred in an episode of Law & Order: SVU in the fall of 2009. Walter appeared in the third episode, which is titled "Solitary," as a legal-aid lawyer named Petra Gilmartin.[5]

She recently starred as Evangeline Harcourt in the Broadway revival of Anything Goes, which began previews in March 2011 and officially opened on April 7, 2011.[6]

Personal life

Since 1983, Walter has been married to actor Ron Leibman, with whom she co-starred in Neil Simon's play Rumors. They also appeared together as husband and wife in the film Dummy and in the TV series Law & Order in the episode "House Counsel", and he joined the cast of Archer, playing Malory Archer's new husband. Walter's daughter, Brooke Bowman, was born in 1972.[7] Her brother is writer Richard Walter.


1966Grand PrixPat StoddardGolden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female
1966The GroupLibby
1968Bye Bye BravermanInez Braverman
1969Number OneJulie Catlan
1971Play Misty For MeEvelyn DraperNominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama



"Two Million Clams for Cap'N Jack"

1974Columbo: Mind Over MayhemDr. Margaret Nicholson
1974–1975Amy PrentissAmy PrentissTV series
Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
1977"The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (TV Series)"Gloria
1978Dr. StrangeMorgan le Fay(TV)
1979VampireNicole DeCamp(TV film)
1981Going Ape!Fiona
1982Spring FeverCelia Berryman
1984Terror in the AislesEvelyn DraperArchival - segment Play Misty for Me
1984The Flamingo KidPhyllis Brody
1984Secret PlacesGirl #1 in art room
1986Novel Connection & Magnum on IceJoan ForresterCrossover episode of Magnum PI and Murder She Wrote
1988TapeheadsKay Mart
1991–1995DinosaursFran Sinclair (voice)
1993Ghost in the MachineElaineaka Deadly Terror
1994PCUPresident Garcia-Thompson
1994Babylon 5Senator Elise Voudreau(1 episode, A Spider in the Web)
1995TemptressDr. Phyllis Evergreen
1998Slums of Beverly HillsDoris Zimmerman
2001My Best Friend's WifeMrs. Epstein
2003DummyFern Schoichet
2003–2006, 2013Arrested DevelopmentLucille Bluth(53 episodes)
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film (2003)
TV Land Award for Future Classic (2004)
Nominated — Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Comedy Series (2005)
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005, 2006)
2006Unaccompanied MinorsCindi
2007-2010Saving GraceBetty Hanadarko(5 episodes)
2007Rules of EngagementConstance(1 episode, Kids)
2008Law & Order: Criminal IntentEleanor Reynolds(1 episode)
2008–200990210Tabitha Wilsonseries regular (13 episodes)
2009Make It Or Break ItGrandma Tanner(1 episode, Battle of the Flexes)
2009Law & Order: SVUAttorney Petra Gilmartin
2009–presentArcherMalory Archerseries regular
2011–2012Retired at 35Elaine Robbinsseries regular
2011The Big Bang TheoryMrs. Latham(1 episode, The Benefactor Factor[8])
2012Bending the RulesLena Gold
2013Arrested DevelopmentLucille Bluth(filming)


External links