Marcia Wallace, a comedic actress who portrayed Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show, passed away last night due to pneumonia complications. She was 70 years old.
The death was confirmed by Wallace's good friend Cathryn Michon, who said in an emotional statement:
“She passed at 9 PM last night due to complications from breast cancer of which she was a long and proud survivor and advocate for women and healing. Ironically it was during breast cancer awareness month during which she was always a funny ray of hope for so many. I’m devastated.”
Wallace was also known for voicing Bart’s teacher, Edna Krabappel, on the Fox animated smash The Simpsons. She won an Emmy for that role.
“Cheers to the hilarious, kind, fab Marcia Wallace, who has taken her leave from us," Wallace’s Simpsosns co-star Yeardley Smith blogged this morning. “Heaven is now a much funnier place because of you.”
The Simpsons producer Al Jean actually announced recently that a regular character - which earned the star who voiced him/her an Emmy - will be killed off next season.
It's unclear if he meant Krabappel and it's unclear if those plans will change now die to this sad news.
UPDATE: Says Jean in a statement: "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."