Jessica Walter1 - 2024 Updated

How much was Jessica Walter's net worth? Unlocking the secrets of her financial success.

Publish date: 2024-01-12 11:16:12

  1. What Was Jessica Walter's Net Worth and Salary?
  2. Early Life
  3. Career
  4. Personal Life
  5. Death
  6. Awards and Nominations
  7. Real Estate

What Was Jessica Walter's Net Worth and Salary?

Jessica Walter was an American actress who had a net worth of $4 million at the time of her death. Walter had more than 160 acting credits to her name, but to younger audiences she will always be best-remembered for playing Lucille Bluth on the critically-acclaimed Fox/Netflix sitcom "Arrested Development" (2003 – 2006; 2013; 2018 – 2019). Jessica was also known for voicing Fran Sinclair on ABC's "Dinosaurs" (1991 – 1994) and Malory Archer on the FX/FXX animated series "Archer" (2009 – 2021).

On television, Walter played Phyllis Koster on "For the People" (1965), Melanie Townsend McIntyre on "Trapper John, M.D." (1979–1985), Ava Marshall on "Bare Essence" (1983), Claudia Bradford on "Three's a Crowd" (1984–1985), Connie Lo Verde on "Aaron's Way" (1988), Celia Calloway on "Oh Baby" (1998–2000), Tabitha Wilson on "90210" (2008–2009), Elaine Robbins on "Retired at 35" (2011–2012), and Maggie on "Jennifer Falls" (2014). She earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance as Evelyn Draper in 1971's "Play Misty for Me," and she also appeared in the films "Grand Prix" (1966), "The Flamingo Kid" (1984), "Ghost in the Machine" (1993), "PCU" (1994), "Slums of Beverly Hills" (1998), and "Dummy" (2003). Jessica also performed on Broadway, starring in productions of "Advise and Consent" (1960), "Night Life" (1962), "Photo Finish" (1963), "A Severed Head" (1964), "Rumors" (1988), and "Anything Goes" (2011). Sadly, Walter died in March 2021 at the age of 80.

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Early Life

Jessica Walter was born on January 31, 1941, in Brooklyn, New York City. She grew up in a Jewish household with mother Esther, father David, and younger brother Richard. Esther was a teacher, and David played double bass with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Richard is a screenwriter who wrote the book "Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing" and chaired the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television's graduate program in screenwriting. Jessica attended the High School of the Performing Arts in Manhattan, and she studied acting at NYC's Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.


Walter's acting career began onstage, then she made her television debut in a 1960 episode of "Diagnosis: Unknown." From 1962 to 1965, she played Julie Murano on "Love of Life," and in 1964, she appeared in her first film, "Lilith." Jessica then guest-starred on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" (1964), "Flipper" (1964), and "The Fugitive" (1965) and played Phyllis Koster on the 1965 legal drama "For the People" alongside William Shatner. She appeared in the films "The Group" (1966), "Bye Bye Braverman" (1968), and "Number One" (1969), and she received her first Golden Globe nomination for 1966's "Grand Prix." In 1971, Jessica starred as stalker Evelyn Draper in the psychological thriller "Play Misty for Me," which was directed by her co-star Clint Eastwood. She guest-starred on "Mission: Impossible" (1970), "Mannix" (1970–1973), "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1971–1973), "Barnaby Jones" (1974), "Columbo" (1974), and "Ironside" (1974), and she won a Primetime Emmy for starring in the title role on the 1974 "Ironside" spin-off "Amy Prentiss." From 1978 to 1985, Walter appeared in eight episodes of "The Love Boat," and in 1979, she appeared in the film "Goldengirl" and began a 10-episode stint on the CBS medical drama "Trapper John, M.D." In the '80s, she appeared in the films "Going Ape!" (1981), "Spring Fever" (1983), "The Flamingo Kid" (1984), and "Tapeheads" (1988), and she starred as Ava Marshall on the 1983 prime time soap opera "Bare Essence" and Connie Lo Verde on the 1988 drama "Aaron's Way." She also had a recurring role as Claudia Bradford on the "Three's Company" spin-off "Three's a Crowd" from 1984 to 1985.

From 1991 to 1994, Jessica voiced Fran Sinclair on the Walt Disney Television/Jim Henson Productions series "Dinosaurs," which aired 65 episodes over four seasons. She played Elaine Spencer in 1993's "Ghost in the Machine" and President Garcia-Thompson in 1994's "PCU," and she had a recurring role as Susan Miller on "Coach" (1994) and Eleanor Armitage on "One Life to Live" (1996–1997). Walter appeared in the 1995 film "Temptress," co-starred with Alan Arkin, Marisa Tomei, and Natasha Lyonne in 1998's "Slums of Beverly Hills," and played Celia Calloway on the Lifetime sitcom "Oh Baby" (1998–2000). In 2003, she took on the iconic role of Lucille Bluth on "Arrested Development." The series aired three seasons on Fox before being canceled in 2006, and fans were overjoyed when Netflix revived it in 2013. "Arrested Development" won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2004, and Jessica earned a nomination for her performance the following year. "Entertainment Weekly" called the series "the best sitcom on TV," and it was included on "Time" magazine's 2007 "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time" list.

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Walter appeared in 2003's "Dummy" and 2006's "Unaccompanied Minors," and from 2007 to 2010, she played Betty Hanadarko in five episodes of TNT's "Saving Grace." From 2008 to 2009, she had a recurring role as Tabitha Wilson on The CW's "90210," and in 2009, she began voicing Malory Archer on "Archer," which has aired more than 130 episodes as of this writing. From 2011 to 2012, Jessica played Elaine Robbins on TV Land's "Retired at 35" alongside George Segal, who passed away in March 2021 just one day prior to Walter's death. She appeared in the 2012 film "Bending the Rules," and in 2014, she was a series regular on TV Land's "Jennifer Falls." In the last few years of her long, impressive career, Walter appeared in the films "Undercover Grandpa" (2017), "Keep the Change" (2017), and "The Mimic" (2020) and guest-starred on "The Odd Couple" (2016), "Difficult People" (2017), "At Home with Amy Sedaris" (2019), "Good Girls" (2019–2020), and "American Housewife" (2021).

Personal Life

Jessica married TV director and former Broadway stage manager Ross Bowman on March 27, 1966, and they welcomed daughter Brooke (born May 18, 1972) before divorcing in 1976. Brooke is a network executive, and in late 2021, she was named Executive Vice President of Drama Programming and Development at Fox. In September 1966, a fire broke out in the apartment Walter shared with Bowman (who was out of town at the time), and she was rescued by a firefighter. Jessica wed actor Ron Leibman on June 26, 1983, and they remained married until his death from pneumonia in December 2019. Walter and Leibman co-starred in the Neil Simon play "Rumors," a production of Molière's "Tartuffe," the film "Dummy," and an episode of "Law & Order," and Ron voiced the husband of Jessica's character on "Archer." Walter described herself as not religious but "very Jewish in my heart."

In May 2018, the "Arrested Development" cast was being interviewed by the "New York Times" when Jessica spoke about an incident on the set in which her onscreen husband, Jeffrey Tambor, verbally abused her. She stated, "In like almost 60 years of working, I've never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it's hard to deal with, but I'm over it now." She added that Tambor had apologized and that she "would work with him again in a heartbeat." Her co-stars Jason Bateman, David Cross, and Tony Hale received criticism for defending Tambor while not acknowledging how the incident made Walter feel, and they later apologized to her.


On March 24, 2021, Jessica passed away in her sleep at her home in Manhattan at the age of 80. Her daughter, Brooke, broke the sad news, stating, "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." As of this writing, no cause of death has been announced.

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Awards and Nominations

Walter was nominated for five Primetime Emmys, winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for "Amy Prentiss" in 1975. Her other nominations were for Outstanding Lead Actress for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series for "The Streets of San Francisco" (1977), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for "Trapper John, M.D." (1980), Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for "Arrested Development" (2005), and Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance for "Archer" (2021). Jessica earned Golden Globe nominations for Most Promising Newcomer – Female for "Grand Prix" (1967) and Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for "Play Misty for Me" (1972), and the "Arrested Development" cast received three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2005, 2006, and 2014). In 1963, Walter won a Clarence Derwent Award for Outstanding Debut Broadway Performance for "Photo Finish," and she earned a Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Comedy or Musical for "Arrested Development" in 2004. She won three Gold Derby Awards for "Arrested Development": Comedy Supporting Actress in 2005 and 2013 and Ensemble of the Year in 2006. She also received a nomination for Comedy Supporting Actress of the Decade in 2010.

Jessica earned seven Online Film & Television Association Award nominations, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for "Arrested Development" in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and Best Voice-Over Performance for "Archer" in 2021. In 2004, "Arrested Development" won a Future Classic Award at the TV Land Awards, and Walter earned an International Online Cinema Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the series in 2013. For "Archer," she received Annie Award nominations for Voice Acting in a Television Production (2012) and Voice Acting in an Animated Television or Other Broadcast Venue Production (2013), a Critics Choice Super Award nomination for Best Voice Actress in an Animated Series (2021), and Behind the Voice Actors Award nominations for Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series – Comedy/Musical (2013 and 2014) and Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series – Comedy/Musical (2013 and 2014).

Real Estate

In November 2019, Jessica and Ron put their 3,229 square foot home in Pound Ridge, New York, on the market for $699,000. They bought the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home for $900,000 nearly 25 years earlier. Shortly before listing the home, the couple sold their two-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom Manhattan residence, a "full-floor co-operative unit in a handsome, early 20th-century townhouse," for just under $1.4 million.

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