Los Angeles (AP) – Jessica Walter, whose roles as matriarch in the TV shows “Arrested Development” and stalker in “Play Misty for Me” were in line with a career that attracted her presence of an astringent screen more than good looks, has died. She was 80 years old.
Walter’s death on Thursday was confirmed by her daughter Brooke Bowman, executive director of the entertainment industry. The cause of death and other details were not immediately stated.
“I confirm the death of my beloved mother Jessica with a heavy heart. The actor, who has been working for more than six decades, has given her the greatest pleasure to others through storytelling both on and off screen, ”Bowman said in a statement.
Walter will also be well remembered for “her wit, class and overall joy,” or love life, her daughter added.
Although the photogenic appearance may have qualified her for the standard roles of lead lady, Walter claimed he did not regret being given the role of actor.
She loved playing tough women because “these are fun roles. They are juicy, much better than playing vanilla, you know – Miss vanilla ice cream, ”Walter said in an interview with the AV Club.
Her most memorable film role was in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 thriller “Play Misty For Me” – her first significant lead – starring Evelyn Draper, a woman who becomes obsessed with Eastwood’s character as a jockey. Walter was widely praised for his disturbing performance.
Roger Ebert wrote in his review: “She is something like whimsical paper; the more you fight against her personality, the tighter you are held. “
“Arrested Development” represented Walter’s second act and gained her admiration from a new generation of fans.
Walter’s feature film debut was in the 1964 film “Lilith,” with Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg, and Gene Hackman, who was also in his first film.
She landed a role in John Frankenheimer’s 1966 “Grand Prix” racing epic, as the glamorous but disgruntled wife of a Formula 1 racer who falls for another driver.
That same year, she appeared in Sidney Lumet’s “Group,” a female ensemble about graduates of a prestigious university (Walter played the cat Libby), and again starred for Lumet in 1968 in “Bye Bye Braverman.”
AP author Lindsey Bahr and AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.