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Marcia Wallace has died


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Marcia Wallace, star of The Bob Newhart Show and The Simpsons and a game show favorite, has died at the age of 70. :(

 

As Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, Marcia Wallace may be the only 4th-grade teacher to have the same student for 24 years. Before that, she was beloved as Carol Kester, the lovelorn, wisecracking secretary on The Bob Newhart Show.

Wallace, who was a breast cancer survivor for 28 years, has died at age 70, according to the showrunner of The Simpsons. “I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace,” producer Al Jean said in a statement to EW. “She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”

 

It has become a sad tradition of the extremely long-running show to simply cease using characters whose voice actors pass away. The first instance was when Phil Hartman died in 1998, and the show retired his sleazy attorney Lionel Hutz and desperate pretty-boy actor Troy McClure.

The program, which began in 1989, had recently announced it planned to end the life of a veteran character. Producers previously killed off Ned Flanders’ wife Maude in 2000. But Jean said today that Mrs. Krabappel was not one they had planned to eliminate. “Earlier we had discussed a potential storyline in which a character passed away,” Jean said. “This was not Marcia’s Edna Krabappel. Marcia’s passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her.”

Reps for The Simpsons said they were aware, however, that Wallace had become gravely ill, although her exact cause of death was not revealed. The news of her death began to spread virally on Twitter late Friday after a friend, comedian and radio host Frank DeCaro, broke the news. Grief over her loss was also tweeted by several other friends, including Yeardly Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson and Cathryn Michon, who directed her in the upcoming movie Muffin Top.

Wallace’s work as the cynical, abused, and sarcastic Mrs. Krabappel won her an Emmy for outstanding voice actress in 1992, and was nominated for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for Murphy Brown, playing the most efficient of the journalist’s constantly changing secretaries — reprising her role as Carol Kester. Adding to the joke, Newhart also made an appearance on that episode.

Born and raised in Creston, Iowa, the daughter of a shopkeeper, she moved to New York after college to pursue stage acting. She started her onscreen career making regular appearances on The Merv Griffin Show, and in 1971 had bit parts on BewitchedColumbo, and The Brady Bunch.

A year later, The Bob Newhart Show made her a star. Her flame-haired, feisty, and free-spirited receptionist was a counterpoint to Newhart’s buttoned-down psychiatrist. She played the role of Carol Kester in 139 episodes from 1972-1978.

After that, Wallace became a regular on a litany of gameshows such as Match GameHollywood Squares, andThe $25,000 Pyramid. She guest starred on single episodes of Magnum, P.I.Gimme a Break!, and Murder, She Wrote, among many others, and had a recurring role as Mrs. Caruthers on Full House. She also had a small role in the 1989 film Teen Witch and became a popular voice-over actress in animated shows, playing characters onDarkwing Duck and Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Later, she also co-starred as the housekeeper on the short-lived 2001 Comedy Central spoof of President George W. Bush That’s My Bush!

But it was the droll, chain-smoking, semi-defeated Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons that would give Wallace her defining role. Originally set up as a Nurse Ratched-like nemesis of trouble student Bart Simpson, she evolved into one of the richest, and most nuanced characters on the series.

In episode 16 of season 3, “Bart the Lover,” the showrunners turned a sympathetic focus on the character. Bart discovers the lonely teacher had posted a personal ad, so he begins writing her bogus love letters, accompanied by a photo of hockey star Gordy Howe. After setting her up on a fake date, he cackles to himself as he looks in the restaurant window and sees her sitting by herself. When she’s still sitting there hours later, he’s no longer so amused by his prank and sets about trying to make it right.

This was the episode that won Wallace her Emmy.

The actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985 but fought it back and became a prominent activist and advocate for early detection procedures. In 2007, she won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute for her decades of work for the cause.

She was married for six years to hotel owner Dennis Hawley, until his death in 1992 from pancreatic cancer. The couple had one son, Michael Hawley, and Wallace wrote about her illness, the loss of her husband, and the challenges of motherhood in her 2004 autobiography Don’t Look Back, We’re Not Going That Way. Despite tackling dark issues, readers acclaimed the book for its sense of humor and optimism.

The subtitle for the book was “How I overcame a rocky childhood, a nervous breakdown, breast cancer, widowhood, fat, fire and menopausal motherhood and still manage to count my lucky chickens.”

 

 

http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/10/26/marcia-wallace-actress-from-the-simpsons-and-the-bob-newhart-show-dies-at-70/

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The Hollywood Reporter obit:

 

In addition to her role as Edna Krabappel on the Fox show, she also starred on "The Bob Newhart Show."

 

Marcia Wallace, the voice of The Simpsons' Edna Krabappel who earlier played the quick-witted receptionist onThe Bob Newhart Show, has died. She was 70.

 

"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," said Simpsons executive producer Al Jean in a statement.

 

Jean addressed a storyline that was previously teased about killing off a character on the show and noted that this was not associated with Wallace. "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," said Simpsons executive producer Al Jean in a statement.

 

"Earlier we had discussed a potential storyline in which a character passed away. This was not Marcia's Edna Krabappel. Marcia's passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her," Jean wrote. 

 

"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," Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson, wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. 

 

Wallace won an Emmy Award for her voice work as Ms. Krabappel in the 1992 Simpsons episode "Bart the Lover." After the elementary school teacher gives Bart a month of detention, he gets his revenge by responding to her newspaper singles ad. That was her 10th of 177 episodes on the series.

 

On Newhart, which aired on CBS from 1972 to 1978, Wallace played Carol Kester, the wise-cracking, independent receptionist in a Chicago high rise that housed the offices of psychologist Bob Hartley (Newhart) and orthodontist Jerry Robinson (Peter Bonerz). She was in 139 of the show's 142 episodes.

 

"The odds of getting on a series long enough to be remembered are infinitesimal," she told The New York Times in 2010. "A lot of what I’ve done, I would not have done without Carol Kester."

 

In a 1994 episode of CBS' Murphy Brown, Wallace played Candice Bergin's secretary. Newhart shows up in character and begs her to come back to work for him in Chicago. Wallace received an Emmy nomination for the guest-starring appearance.

 

Cathryn Michon, the writer-director of the forthcoming film Muffin Top: A Love Story, which features Wallace, wrote on Twitter on Friday:  "Devastated 2nite at passing of #Marciawallace dear friend 1 of the stars of my @MuffinTopMovie. She was my hero, cheered 4 me. Grrl Genius."

 

Wallace was born in Creston, Iowa, and attended Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. The day of her graduation, she left for New York for an acting career with just $150 to her name. Back then, she weighed 220 pounds and described herself as 5-foot-8 -- but with hair, 6 feet 2 inches.

 

She lost 100 pounds, formed an improvisational group and joined the staff of Merv Griffin's syndicated talk show. She would make 75 appearances on the show. Producer Grant Tinker, head of MTM Enterprises, spotted her and offered her the role of Carol on Newhart.

 

Wallace also was a popular game-show participant on Hollywood SquaresThe $25,000 Pyramid, To Tell the Truth, Match Game and others. She appeared on such series as Bewitched, The Brady Bunch, Murder, She Wrote and Full House and voiced numerous other characters.

 

Wallace was diagnosed with cancer in 1985 and became a high-profile advocate for breast cancer awareness, speaking to thousands of women across the country every year. She won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute in 2007.

 

She published an autobiography in 2004, Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way, with the subtitle How I Overcame a Rocky Childhood, a Nervous Breakdown, Breast Cancer, Widowhood, Fat, Fire & Menopausal Motherhood and Still Managed to Count My Lucky Chickens.

 

She married hotelier Dennis Hawley in 1986, and they adopted a son. Hawley died in 1992 of pancreatic cancer.

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No!!!!!! :( :( :( She was amazing both on screen and in voice. 

 

R.I.P. "Edna"

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLNkbRvraho

She won an Emmy for voicing the character back in '92.  Just read this now, poor thing, she was so great, apparently she got the job on Newhart because CBS founder Bill Paley wanted her at that job.  The funny redhead was only 70, so sad.  I suppose it was cancer, she had breast cancer back in '88.

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She won an Emmy for voicing the character back in '92.  Just read this now, poor thing, she was so great, apparently she got the job on Newhart because CBS founder Bill Paley wanted her at that job.  The funny redhead was only 70, so sad.  I suppose it was cancer, she had breast cancer back in '88.

They said they'll retire the character on The Simpsons.

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Fox will dig into their archives and dusting off the classic 21-year-old Simpsons episode "Bart, The Lover" this Sunday at 7.30 p.m. in honour of Marcia Wallace. This episode is the one where Bart takes on the role of Edna's pen pal, Woodrow -- which is a great showcase for Wallace.

 

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She deserved a couple of Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for The Bob Newhart Show but I think for most of the early 1970's the Emmys idiotically only limited that category to three nominees (same with Best Actress too I believe which also probably cheated Lucy out of a least a couple more  noms).  Always liked her, one of the great sitcom supporting actresses.  I'm very glad though she did win a Emmy for THE SIMPSONS but she was always be Carol from Newhart to me.   She was always an "up" perky presence on game shows of the 70s/80s, had a nice career but still I think not quite appreciated as much as she should have been by the industry.  RIP Marcia. 

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She deserved a couple of Emmy nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for The Bob Newhart Show but I think for most of the early 1970's the Emmys idiotically only limited that category to three nominees (same with Best Actress too I believe which also probably cheated Lucy out of a least a couple more  noms).  Always liked her, one of the great sitcom supporting actresses.  I'm very glad though she did win a Emmy for THE SIMPSONS but she was always be Carol from Newhart to me.   She was always an "up" perky presence on game shows of the 70s/80s, had a nice career but still I think not quite appreciated as much as she should have been by the industry.  RIP Marcia. 

I agree and when did the Emmys ever get anything RIGHT?  I hear they're giving Ms Dreyfus a Governor's award this year and inducting her into the TV Hall of Fame.

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