Marcia Wallace, star on the eternally popular cartoon, The Simpsons, died yesterday at the age of 70. According to TMZ, Marcia died in her home in California with loved ones all around after a few months of declining health.
Wallace is perhaps best known for her role as Edna Krabapple, which she voiced for nearly two and a half decades. For some, she is equally well known for her role as Carol Kester, a witty and talented receptionist, which she played alongside Bob Newhart on his show. Her role on the show was a part that Wallace was proud to play, as her character deviated from the typical stereotypes associated with secretaries at the time and provided an excellent role model for women on television.
Wallace’s longstanding television career included numerous other roles, guest spots, and appearances. She reprised her role as Carol Kester in the show Murphy Brown. She participated in a litany of game shows. She was the neighbor in Full House and the housekeeper in Comedy Central’s, That’s My Bush! Her most impressive feat is that she is one of the few entertainers who will end their careers with the privilege of having secured mulitple iconic roles on television.
Her coworkers on The Simpsons have taken to Twitter to announce their grief at her passing and the fate of the beloved Edna Krabapple is unknown at this point. An announcement that had previously been made stating a mainstay Simpsons character would be killed off next season has been rumored to have nothing to do with Wallace’s death. The announcement was made a month ago, and hinted that the character had earned the voice actor an Emmy. Wallace won an Emmy for her voice work as Edna in 1992 and while it is being asserted that the announcement is not connected with her, it is hard to fathom how anyone else could take over such an iconic role. It has also been confirmed that the Simpsons crew knew of her health problems leading up to her death.
There are some rumors that the character will be retired.
According to a friend of Marcia Wallace, the Simpsons star has died as the result of complications from breast cancer. Originally diagnosed in 1985, Wallace received treatment and was able to begin healing, surviving for nearly 30 years after the diagnosis. She attributed her survival to early detection efforts. After her husband, Dennis Hawley, died in 1992 of pancreatic cancer, she began to speak publicly in hopes of bringing awareness to women about breast cancer.
The couple had one child together, a son that they adopted name Michael Wallace Hawley. Marcia Wallace’s last project is the soon to be released movie, Muffin Top, which features the immensely proud mother and her son on screen together.
Watch the video below to see Marcia Wallace use her iconic role as Edna Krabapple to help bolster her efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer and to inspire women to take action to protect their health. Having died a mere week before turning 71, Marcia Wallace, the invaluable entertainer and advocate will be sorely missed by those who loved her, including the multitudes of Simpsons fans, many of whom spent most of their lives hearing her voice on their televisions weekly.
Written by: Vanessa Blanchard