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10 Pre-‘Arrested Development’ Jessica Walter Clips You’ve Gotta See

Jessica Walter

We’re so happy that ‘Arrested Development‘ is back, we’ve stopped taking our antidepressants, suddenly and without medical supervision. While we would never even try to pick a favorite ‘AD’ character, we can safely say that only one of them was ever forced to wrestle onscreen in a scene narrated by Grandpa Joe from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Yes, it’s Jessica Walter, the actress responsible for giving Lucille Bluth her sharp tongue and boozy demeanor.  

Prior to playing the Bluth matriarch, Jessica Walter was basically in everything. Film nerds remember her as a crazed fan obsessed with Clint Eastwood’s disc jockey (it was the ’70s, people) in the thriller ‘Play Misty for Me.’ Children of the ’80s (and their grandparents) may remember her from the ‘Magnum, P.I.’/’Murder, She Wrote’ crossover. If you needed a delightfully nutty seductress, murderer or society dame, Jessica Walter was your gal.

Walter has been in show business so long that interesting stuff was bound to make it onto the internet eventually. Here are 10 great old clips that you’ve got to see.


‘Airport ’79’


Turns out Jessica Walter saw the whole thing coming! Here she is reading tea leaves and predicting engine trouble for George Kennedy in ‘The Concorde…Airport ’79.’


‘The Carol Burnett Show’


Here’s Walter correcting the spelling of her last name, from a ‘Carol Burnett Show’ outtake. In the episode, she apparently sang ‘Could This Be Magic’ and did some clowning.


‘Kiss Me Kate’


Jessica Walter singing? Yes, that’s right. Since we couldn’t find the clip from ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ here’s a recording of her from the 1968 made-for-TV version of ‘Kiss Me Kate.’


‘Magnum, P.I.’/’Murder, She Wrote’


Jessica Walter played Jean Forrester on the ‘Magnum’ and ‘Murder, She Wrote’ crossover episodes ‘Novel Connection’ and ‘Magnum on Ice.’ (Watch a promo below.)


‘The Name of the Game’


Just in case you thought that whole Grandpa Joe thing was a joke, here it is from the groundbreaking anthology TV series ‘The Name of the Game.’ We forgot to mention, this all takes place in an Old West saloon.


‘The Rogues’


Here’s Walter as a charming young lady on ‘The Rogues.’ She frequently played parts like this one.


‘The Alfred Hitchcock Hour’


There’s just something about Jessica Walter that makes her born to play characters with loads of money. Here’s an entire episode of ‘The Alfred Hitchcock Hour’ featuring Walter as a troubled Bennington graduate. (Just like Diane from ‘Cheers’! Just kidding, it’s not like that at all.)


‘The Fugitive’


Yup, that’s Jessica Walter aiding and abetting one Dr. Richard Kimble.


‘Dr. Strange’


Jessica Walter played villainous sorceress Morgan Le Fay, a woman so cold she can scare kids off using only her eyes, in the campy 1978 ‘Dr. Strange’ TV movie/failed pilot. Feel free to show this clip to anyone who says there should be a Dr. Strange movie. Still, the music is pretty amazing.




NEVER FORGET!!! Never forget that Jessica Walter was the voice of Fran on ‘Dinosaurs’! Never!!!

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