UPDATED: Mrs. Edna Krabappel, the chain-smoking fourth grade teacher with a derisive laugh on “The Simpsons,” will be retired after more than two decades on the show following the news that Marcia Wallace, the comedienne who gave voice to the character, died Friday at the age of 70 from complications related to breast cancer.
“I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace,” executive producer Al Jean said in a statement on Saturday. “She was beloved by all at ‘The Simpsons’ and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”
PREVIOUSLY: Marcia Wallace, the star of “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Simpsons,” died Friday, confirmed Al Jean, the executive producer of “The Simpsons,” on Saturday. Wallace, 70, died of complications related to breast cancer.
Wallace’s blazing red hair and bubbly delivery were tailormade for the role of outer-office receptionist Carol, who worked for the straight-laced Bob Hartley, the psychologist played by Newhart on the hit CBS show of the 1970s.
She would remain with “The Bob Newhart Show” for its six-season run before making guest appearances on shows such as “ALF” and “Murphy Brown.” She became a regular presence on game shows such as “The 25,000 Pyramid” and “The Hollywood Squares.”
She would also build a second career as a voice-over actress, giving life to Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson’s teacher on “The Simpsons.” The role, a sublime parody of disaffected instruction, earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992.
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Wallace’s career began with a semi-regular stint on “The Merv Griffin Show,” and also involved successful forays on the New York and Los Angeles state where she appeared in productions of “The Vagina Monologues,” “Gypsy” and “The Prisoner of Second Avenue.”
Wallace was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985 and became involved in charitable groups involved with treating the disease.
She is survived by a son. She is predeceased by a husband, Dennis Hawley.