Marcia Wallace died on Friday in Los Angeles, at the age of 70. Wallace lost a battle with a cancer, after surviving for 28 years with the disease.
She was a comedic actress, perhaps most well-known for her work as the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. Before that, she played Carol Kester, the wisecracking secretary on The Bob Newhart Show.
The iconic actress also appeared on several game-shows and soap operas such as The Young And The Restless.
Al Jean, a producer of the long-running animated comedy, said of Wallace, “She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”
The Simpsons characters are real people to me largely due to the performances. So sad to hear Marcia Wallace has moved out of Springfield.
— John Gallagher, Jr. (@JohnGallagherJr) October 26, 2013
It has become a tradition to have to eliminate characters on the show, when their voice actors die, which is very sad to see. The first, and probably most famous instance of this, was when Phil Hatman died in 1998 and his memorable characters including Troy McClure were retired from the show.
Rest in peace, Marcia Wallace. pic.twitter.com/otOsId7QVL
— Homer Simpson (@Wisdom_Of_Homer) October 26, 2013
Marcia Wallace was diagnosed with cancer in 1985, and she later became an activist for early cancer detection. New York’s Roswell Park Cancer Institute honored her with the Gilda Radner Courage Award in 2007 for the work that she has done as an activist.
R.I.P the brilliant Marcia Wallace who played Edna Krabappel in The Simpsons.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) October 26, 2013
The Simpsons recently announced that the program was planning to kill off one of its characters, but they revealed that Marcia Wallace’s Mrs. Krabappel was not the one. The show’s producer admitted that the plan was not to kill her off, saying that her passing was unrelated and a terrible loss for all who knew her. Mrs. Krabappel has been the 4th grade teacher on the show for 24 years now, and she even won an Emmy for her role on the series in 1992.
RIP Marcia Wallace…from Bob Newhart's desk to detention w/ Bart to a whirlwind romance w/ Seymour, you will be missed. 🙁 #MrsKrabappel
— Chris Hardwick (@nerdist) October 26, 2013
Farewell, MARCIA WALLACE! As Bart Simpson's teacher Edna Krabappel, you were the worst educator in TV history. And we loved you for it. #RIP
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) October 26, 2013
While her character started out as a mean, nemesis type of character to Bart Simpson, she slowly developed into a a very rich and sweet character on the series. The episode for which she won her Emmy was titled “Bart The Lover,” and featured Bart responding to an ad she listed in the local paper looking for a date. He was taking revenge for being put in detention, in a classic episode that was Wallace’s 10th of 177 episodes on the series.
"RIP Marcia Wallace" written 100 times on the blackboard today by an uncharacteristically sad Bart Simpson.
— Paul_Dini (@Paul_Dini) October 26, 2013
Marcia Wallace was also set to appear in Muffin Top: A Love Story, a romantic comedy from director Cathryn Michon. The film is currently in post-production, and is scheduled to be released in 2014.
RIP brilliant. funny Marcia Wallace, tireless advocate for working actors. Long live Carol Kester & Edna Krabappel! pic.twitter.com/phiaHb5MLz
— Clark Gregg (@clarkgregg) October 26, 2013
Her character on The Simpsons also had a very iconic laugh that she will be forever remembered by.