Award-winning actress Jessica Walter passed away on March 24, 2021, at the age of 80. She received a Golden Globe Award in 1967, which was followed by a Primetime Emmy Award in 1975.
With a career spanning over 60 years, Jessica cemented herself as a household name with roles like Evelyn in 1971's Play Misty for Me and Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. She married twice. Her second husband, Ron Leibman, passed away in 2019.
Jessica Walter met her first husband, Ross Bowman, on the set of 'Advise & Consent.'
As Sidney Lumet's friend and collaborator, Jessica appeared in timeless movies like 1966's The Group, a drama following the work and life of eight college-educated women, 1968's Bye Bye Braverman, and 1975's Dog Day Afternoon, a drama about a bank robbery. Clint Eastwood, John Frankenheimer, and Mitchell Hurwitz are just some of the stars she worked with, as per Elle. Jessica met her first husband, Ross Bowman, on the set of Advise & Consent. They wedded in 1966 and stayed together for 12 years.
In addition to an extremely lucrative career in show business, Jessica also had an enviable family life. She and her first husband, Ross, share a daughter, Brooke Bowman, who was born in 1972.
Jessica met her second husband in 1982.
Jessica and Ross went their separate ways in 1978. It's understood that she met her second husband, Ron Leibman, at a soirée hosted by Midnight Cowboy actress Brenda Vaccaro in August 1982. They got married in 1983, and they stayed together until his death in 2019.
Jessica and Ron collaborated on several projects. They both provided voice-overs for the hit animation series Archer. They also appeared together in the 2002 comedy-drama, The Dummy, and in a Season 5 episode of Law & Order, "House Counsel."
Jessica and Ron co-starred in Tartuffe, a 1986 stage production of Molière's comedy put on by the Los Angeles Theatre Center, as well as in a Broadway adaptation of Neil Simon's play, Rumors, which first premiered at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York in 1988. As a previous interview with the Los Angeles Times reveals, Jessica and Ron even postponed their honeymoon because work got in the way.
"I said, 'Sardinia will always be there,'" Ron recalled about how he told Jessica that he landed a role at the New York Shakespeare Festival, which, in essence, overwrote their vacation plans.
Ron and Jessica were introduced to each other via mutual friends, according to the Los Angeles Times. They started spending more time together once they both found themselves filming in the city.
"I had it all planned," Ron described how he set out to propose to Jessica. "I sat her down next to the fireplace, got down on one knee — and then I got my foot caught in my bathrobe and knocked her over. I was so frightened, what I said was, 'I’d like you to marry me. You don't have to answer right now, but I love you.'"
Jessica died in her sleep, but the cause of death is yet to be disclosed.
Ron and Jessica stayed together for 36 years, until his untimely death on Dec. 6, 2019. The cause of death was pneumonia. Jessica died nearly two years later, on March 24.
"It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica," her daughter, Brooke, told The Sun in a statement. "A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on-screen and off."
"While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class, and overall joie de vivre," Brooke added.