Emmy-Winning Actress Jessica Walter Dies At 80

Award-winning actress Jessica Walter passed away in her sleep at home in New York City on Wednesday, March 24. She was 80 years old. 

Walter’s career included everything from a standout turn in Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, to The Flamingo Kid and her Emmy-nominated turns on Trapper John M..D. and Streets of San Francisco. 

She won her Emmy starring Amy Prentiss in an Ironside spinoff in the mid-1970s about a young San Francisco police detective. 

Walter 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.

Walter began her career in her hometown of New York City, where she appeared in numerous Broadway productions, including Photo Finish, where she earned the Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Newcomer.

Walter also worked at New York’s Playwright’s Horizons and the Los Angeles Theater Center, where she starred in Tartuffe opposite the late Ron Leibman, her Emmy- and Tony-winning husband. 

Walter is the mother of Brooke Bowman, SVP Drama Programming at Fox Entertainment, and grandson Micah Heymann.

“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. 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.”

Instead of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind.