Actress Got Start In Off-Broadway Plays, Greenwich Village Improv Scene

LOS ANGELES (CBSNewYork) — Marcia Wallace, an actress known for her work on “The Bob Newhart Show” and “The Simpsons” – but who also had a New York stage background – has died at the age of 70, according to published reports. and several other media outlets reported Saturday that Ms. Wallace passed away Friday evening at her home in Los Angeles.

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The well-known actress and comedienne starred as receptionist Carol Kester on “The Bob Newhart Show,” which ran on CBS from 1972 until 1978.

The Creston, Iowa native also lived in New York after college, and first worked as a substitute English teacher in the Bronx while performing in summer stock, according to published reports.

She appeared in Greenwich Village during the late 1960s with the improv group “The Fourth Wall,” and later took to the stage in several off-Broadway plays, published reports said.

Among them was “Dark of the Moon” at the old Mercer Arts Center, a 1970 production with a cast that also included Rue McClanahan of “Golden Girls” fame.

Ms. Wallace went on to make regular appearances on “The Merv Griffin Show.” In addition to her “Bob Newhart Show” role, she also appeared on “The Brady Bunch” and “Full House.”

Most recently, Ms. Wallace has been known for her voice role as teacher Edna Krabappel on “The Simpsons,” which earned her an Emmy in 1992.

Several co-stars of Wallace, including Yeardley Smith and Harry Shearer, took to Twitter Saturday morning to express their grief upon hearing the news of her passing, CBS Los Angeles reported.

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

“So sad to learn–through Twitter, first–of the passing of the wonderful Marcia Wallace. Sorely missed already,” tweeted Shearer.

Simpsons producer Al Jean also released a statement on Ms. Wallace’s passing.

“I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace,” he wrote. “She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character.”

There had been a recent discussion about a storyline in which a “Simpsons” character passes away, but the character was not to be Ms. Krabappel, he wrote.

“Marcia’s passing is unrelated and again, a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her,” he wrote.

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