Marcia Wallace a proud, and activist, breast cancer survivor and star of The Simpsons died Friday after complications from a prolonged period of illness. She was 70 years-old.
Marica Karen Wallace was born in Creston, Iowa on November 1, 1942. Her father owned and operated the local general store in Creston, where Wallace grew up. Her start into her lifelong career as a character actress and comedic performer began after a high school teacher encouraged her to try acting professionally after she did well in a school play.
Wallace really came to notice when she regularly appeared on The Merv Griffin Show. After 75 appearances on the show producer Grant Tinker approached Maria to become a regular on the popular Bob Newhart Show. The role of Newhart’s receptionist in the show, Carol Kester, was written for her. Her character’s name was changed in the show to Carol Kester Bondurant as the Bob Newhart series went on. Years later, she reprised that character on the Murphy Brown television show, which starred Candice Bergen.
Marcia Wallace, breast cancer survivor and lecturer on the disease, has died, but her work will live on. Her voicing of The Simpsons character Mrs Edna Krabappel, not only gained her new fans, but will serve as her legacy now that she is gone. Her signature laugh as the cynical schoolteacher will be missed by fans of the show.
Maria played the role of secretary Bondurant in the comedy program from 1994 to 1998. Over a career that lasted for 42 years Wallace worked in 59 television programs, that included TV movies, and voiced her Simpsons character Edna Krabappel in The Simpsons Movie and two Simpsons video games based on the show.
Marcia Wallace worked on many iconic television shows, her first credit, on IMDb, was on the hit series Bewitched. She also worked as a guest-star on Love American Style, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and many other popular programs. While providing the voice of Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, she also worked on the daytime American soap opera The Young and the Restless.
In 1985, Wallace was diagnosed with breast cancer. She married Dennis Hawley, a hotelier, May 1986. They adopted their only child, Michael “Mikey” Hawley and, sadly, her husband Dennis died from pancreatic cancer in 1992. After his death, Marcia began to lecture on the disease and actively campaigned to make the public aware of the cancer and to find a cure.
In 2007, Wallace was given the Gilda Radner Courage Award, Radner was married to actor Gene Wilder and she died from cancer soon after. The award, which was presented to Marcia from the Roswell Cancer Institute was for her work in educating Americans of the how important early cancer detection was. She was also an inspiration to other cancer sufferers as a 20 year survivor of breast cancer.
The character actress wrote her autobiography in 2004. It was titled, Don’t Look Back, We’re Not Going That Way, in the book she wrote of her early breast cancer detection. Marcia Wallace also wrote about her husband’s death, her nervous breakdown, and raising her son as a single mother. The title of the book was inspired by her father who used the phrase of the book’s title when she was a child.
Maria Wallace enjoyed a career upsurge as a result of her work on The Simpsons. She worked steadily throughout a prolific career and sadly she died on Friday. Her status as a breast cancer survivor was an inspiration to all who suffered from the disease. She is survived by her son Michael.
By Michael Smith