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.
Walter was born in Brooklyn to Esther (née Groisser) and David Walter, a musician of some note who was a member of the NBC Symphony, and the NYC Ballet Orchestra. She was bornJewish and 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. She appeared on the show from 1962 to 1965.
Jessica Walter began her on-screen acting career as Julie Murano on the television series, Love of Life, which ran from September 1951- February 1980. During Walters stint on Love of Life, she also acted in many other popular television series: namely Naked City, East Side/West Side, Ben Casey, Route 66, Lilith, The Doctors and the Nurses, The Rogues, and The Defenders. Amongst those series is Walter's notable role as Lorna Richmond on "The Ordeal of Mrs. Snow" episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour which aired in April 14, 1964.
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?" ofCBS'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. 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 theNBC 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." 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 of Season 11, which is titled "Solitary," as a legal-aid lawyer named Petra Gilmartin.
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. Her brother is writer Richard Walter.
|1966||Grand Prix||Pat Stoddard||Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female|
|1968||Bye Bye Braverman||Inez Braverman|
|1969||Number One||Julie Catlan|
|1970||Mission: Impossible||Valerie||(1 episode, Orpheus)|
|1971||Play Misty For Me||Evelyn Draper||Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama|
|1973||Banacek||Erica Osburn||(1 episode, Two Million Clams for Cap'N Jack)|
|1974||Columbo: Mind Over Mayhem||Dr. Margaret Nicholson|
|1974–1975||Amy Prentiss||Amy Prentiss||TV series|
|1977||"The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (TV Series)"||Gloria|
|1978||Dr. Strange||Morgan le Fay||(TV)|
|1979||Vampire||Nicole DeCamp||(TV film)|
|1982||Spring Fever||Celia Berryman|
|1984||Terror in the Aisles||Evelyn Draper||Archival - segment Play Misty for Me|
|1984||The Flamingo Kid||Phyllis Brody|
|1984||Secret Places||Girl #1 in art room|
|1986||Novel Connection & Magnum on Ice||Joan Forrester||Crossover episode of Magnum PI and Murder She Wrote|
|1991||Murder She Wrote||Jane Dawson|
|1991–1995||Dinosaurs||Fran Sinclair (voice)|
|1993||Ghost in the Machine||Elaine||aka Deadly Terror|
|1994||Babylon 5||Senator Elise Voudreau||(1 episode, A Spider in the Web)|
|1995||Temptress||Dr. Phyllis Evergreen|
|1996||The Magic School Bus||Ashley Walker-Club-Dupree||(1 episode, "Rocks and Rolls")|
|1998||Slums of Beverly Hills||Doris Zimmerman|
|2001||My Best Friend's Wife||Mrs. Epstein|
|2003–2006, 2013||Arrested Development||Lucille Bluth||(68 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)
|2007-2010||Saving Grace||Betty Hanadarko||(5 episodes)|
|2007||Rules of Engagement||Constance||(1 episode, Kids)|
|2008||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Eleanor Reynolds||(1 episode)|
|2008–2009||90210||Tabitha Wilson||series regular (13 episodes)|
|2009||Make It Or Break It||Grandma Tanner||(1 episode, Battle of the Flexes)|
|2009||Law & Order: SVU||Attorney Petra Gilmartin|
|2009–present||Archer||Malory Archer (voice)||series regular|
|2011–2012||Retired at 35||Elaine Robbins||series regular|
|2011||The Big Bang Theory||Mrs. Latham||(1 episode, The Benefactor Factor)|
|2012||Bending the Rules||Lena Gold|