‘Arrested Development’ stars honor Jessica Walter: ‘Rest in Peace Mama Bluth’

Jessica Walter and David Cross peering out of a window in "Arrested Development."
Jessica Walter and David Cross in “Arrested Development.”
(Saeed Adyani / Netflix)

Stars of the beloved sitcom “Arrested Development” are paying homage to “Mama Bluth,” the onscreen matriarch portrayed with signature side-eye and sass by the late Jessica Walter.

On Thursday, cast members Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross and Henry Winkler all paid tribute to Walter, who commanded the small screen as the boozy, sharp-tongued Lucille Bluth for five seasons of “Arrested Development” spanning 16 years. Walter died in her sleep Wednesday at age 80 in her New York City home.

“R. I. P. Jessica Walter,” tweeted Bateman, who played Lucille’s second-eldest son, Michael Bluth. “What an incredible career, filled with amazing performances. I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life. She was one of a kind. All my love and thoughts to her family.”


“I just heard the s— news about Jessica Walter an absolutely brilliant actress and amazing talent,” wrote Cross, who portrayed Walter’s onscreen son-in-law, Tobias Fünke. “I consider myself privileged and very lucky to have been able to work with her. Lucille Bluth is one of TV’s greatest characters.”

Arnett — who played the eldest Bluth child, George Oscar “G.O.B.” Bluth — also fondly remembered the Emmy-winning actress on Twitter, where he offered his condolences to her daughter and grandson.

“Jessica Walter was a deeply talented person,” he tweeted. “We first met on a pilot in ‘96 and I was instantly blown away I’m fortunate to have had a front row seat to her brilliance for 25 years ... Farewell Jessica, you’ll be missed.”

There was a Lucille Bluth GIF for every mood, as perfectly portrayed by Jessica Walter. The ‘Arrested Development’ star died Wednesday at 80.

March 25, 2021

Hale — who starred as Lucille’s youngest and most dependent son, Byron “Buster” Bluth — hailed Walter as “a force” whose “talent and timing were unmatched,” while Winkler — whose bumbling Barry Zuckerkorn served as the Bluth family’s defense attorney — deemed it an “an honor to watch her comedy explode from the very first row.”

Also mourning the loss of Walter were the stars and creators of “Archer,” the long-running animated comedy that featured the TV icon as the ruthless Malory Archer over 11 years and seasons. Walter was also known for scene-stealing roles in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 thriller, “Play Misty for Me,” and the 1966 racing drama “Grand Prix.”

“Jessica Walter was a queen in every way: kind, classy, incredibly talented, generous with love & support. And so insanely funny,” tweeted Aisha Tyler, who voices field agent Lana Kane in “Archer.” “She was the brilliant center of our ... universe. Sweet flight to you, dear Jessica. You were so loved, and we were so lucky to know you.”


Emmy-winning actor Jessica Walter, widely known as Lucille Bluth on the TV series “Arrested Development,” has died at 80. Her career spanned decades.

March 25, 2021

“The Archer family is heartbroken to lose Jessica Walter, our beloved colleague and friend,” said creator and executive producer Adam Reed in a statement. “Jessica was a consummate professional, an actor’s actor, and the exact opposite of Malory Archer — warm, caring, and kind, with an absolutely cracking sense of humor — and it was both a privilege and a true honor to work with her over these many years. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.”

See more reactions to Walter’s death below.