Jessica Walter, an award-winning actress who played One Life to Live's Eleanor Armitage in the mid-90s, passed away in her sleep at home in New York City on Wednesday, March 24. She was 80.
Walter's illustrious career includes six decades of credits spanning from Broadway, to films, to primetime dramas, to sitcoms, to soap operas. Some of her most memorable TV roles include Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, Malory Archer on Archer, Tabitha Wilson on 90210, Melanie Townsend McIntyre on Trapper John, M.D., and several characters on both The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote.
From 1996 to 1997, Walter played the recurring role of One Life to Live's Eleanor Armitage, the mother of twins Ian Armitage (Will Kempe) and Maggie Carpenter (Crystal Chappell). That was her only modern-day soap role in over 160 credits listed on IMDb, though she did also appear in the classic soaps Love of Life and The Doctors and the Nurses, as well as the primetime soap Knots Landing. Additionally, Walter headlined the series adaptation of Bare Essence, which also starred General Hospital legend Genie Francis (Laura Webber).
The actress' daughter, Brooke Bowman, released a statement that reads, "A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off. 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."
Walter won the 1975 Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series category for her work in Amy Prentiss. She served as 2nd National Vice President of the Screen Actors Guild, and was an elected member of the SAG Board of Directors for over a decade.
The actress is survived by Bowman, who is SVP Drama Programming at Fox Entertainment, and her grandson, Micah Heymann.
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