Longtime TV favorite Marcia Wallace passes away at 70
Wallace was best known for 'The Bob Newhart Show' and voice of grumpy teach on 'The Simpsons'
Marcia Wallace, a longtime television favorite, has passed away at the age of 70. As an actress, she was perhaps best known as the receptionist on "The Bob Newhart Show." In later years, she provided the voice for Bart Simpson's fourth-grade teacher on "The Simpsons." Wallace's cause of death was not immediately confirmed.
Marcia Wallace had advocated for awareness of breast cancer, a disease she battled herself. "Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way," her book in 2004 in part chronicled her fight with the disease.
Wallace won an Emmy providing the voice for Edna Krabappel, the teacher with the snarky laugh on "The Simpsons." She held the role since the show's premiere in 1990.
"I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace," executive producer Al Jean of "The Simpsons" said in a statement. "She was beloved by all at 'The Simpsons' and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character."
"Marcia's passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her," Jean said.
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 "Bewitched," "Columbo" 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.
In addition to her long-running roles in situation comedies, Wallace was a regular guest star on a host of popular TV shows in the 1970s and 1980s, from "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" to "Gimme a Break!," "ALF," "Night Court," "Charles in Charge" and "Magnum, P.I."
She frequently appeared on such game shows as "The Hollywood Squares," "Password" and "The (New) $25,000 Pyramid."
Wallace had advocated for awareness of breast cancer, a disease she battled herself. "Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way," her book in 2004 in part chronicled her fight with the disease.
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