Marcia Wallace Dead At 70; What Happened To Former ‘Simpsons’ And ‘Bob Newhart Show’ Star? [VIDEOS]

By Melissa Siegel October 26, 2013 11:45 AM EDT
Marcia Wallace Dead

Marcia Wallace had been a breast cancer advocate since she was first diagnosed in 1985. (Photo: Reuters)

Marcia Wallace, a comedian who most recently voiced Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons, died last night in Los Angeles. Wallace was 70 years old and had reportedly been ill for the past few months.

"She passed at 9 PM last night due to complications from breast cancer of which she was a long and proud survivor and advocate for women and healing," said Wallace's close friend Cathryn Michon. "Ironically it was during breast cancer awareness month during which she was always a funny ray of hope for so many. I'm devastated."

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Marcia Wallace was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985. She later became a public advocate for early detection, winning the Gilda Radner Courage Award in 2007.

Before her death, Marcia Wallace also appeared on various game shows in the 1980s in 1990s, including Hollywood Squares, The 25,000 Pyramid, and Match Game. She first became famous as Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show and guest-starred on series like Full House and The Young And The Restless.

Watch a promo for The Bob Newhart Show featuring Marcia Wallace as Carol Kester.

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Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson on the long-running Fox series, also paid tribute to the late Marcia Wallace on Saturday.

"Cheers to the hilarious, kind, fab Marcia Wallace, who has taken her leave of us," Smith tweeted. "Heaven is now a much funnier place b/c of you, Marcia. Xx"

Check out a funny clip of Marcia Wallace from The Simpsons.

Marcia Wallace's death makes it unclear what will happen to Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons. Earlier this month, producer Al Jean announced that a major character would die sometime this season. However, Deadline reported that this statement was unrelated to Wallace's death. In fact, Jean told earlier this month that the actor/actress in question did not know that the character was being killed off. 

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UPDATE: The aforementioned Jean confirmed to TMZ that Edna was not the planned Simpsons casualty. Producers had been hoping that the actress would be well enough to return to work. Instead, the character will most likely be retired in the wake of Marcia Wallace's death.

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