‘Simpsons’ Actress Marcia Wallace Dies At 70

The Simpsons actress Marcia Wallace died on Friday at her home in Los Angeles. Wallace’s cause of death wasn’t immediately announced, though Cathryn Michon, who co-wrote and directed the actress’ final movie, attributed her death to breast cancer.

Wallace first rose to fame on The Bob Newhart Show in the 1970s when she played joke-cracking receptionist Carol Kester. The role of Kester was written specifically for her after the show’s producers saw her performance on The Merv Griffin Show.

The actress won an Emmy in 1992 for her voice-over work in The Simpsons, reports Yahoo! TV. Wallace played Bart’s Springfield Elementary School teacher Edna Krabappel, who was fond of men, alcohol, and cigarettes.

Wallace was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, which led her to become an activist against the disease. She received the Gilda Radner Courage Award in 2007 for her work to educate others about the cancer.

Entertainment Weekly notes that The Simpsons producer Al Jean released a statement about Marcia Wallace’s death, saying, “I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace. She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”

Representatives for the long-running TV show commented that they were aware that Wallace became gravely ill. The show has a tendency to simply retire actors’ characters when they pass away, and it is likely they will do the same with Krabappel.

News of Wallace’s death first broke on Twitter, when friend, comedian, and radio host Frank DeCaro broke the news. DeCaro wrote, “Our dead sweet friend Marcia Wallace has died. A walking lesson in comedy. Long live Carol Kester & Edna Krabappel.”

Yeardly Smith, who plays the voice of Lisa Simpson, added her thoughts to the mix, writing, “Cheers to the hilarious, kind, fab Marcia Wallace, who has taken her leave of us. Heaven is now a much funnier place b/c of you, Marcia. Xx.”

Marcia Wallace is survived by her son, Michael Hawley. No funeral arrangements were announced.

[Image via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com]

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