SAG-AFTRA joins the entertainment community in mourning the loss of long-time board member and consummate funny lady, Marcia Wallace.
SAG-AFTRA National President Ken Howard said, “I am deeply saddened that Marcia has passed away and my profound sympathies go out to her beloved family and friends. Marcia was so many amazing things: a terrific actor, a brilliant comedian, and a wonderful caring soul. We will all miss her greatly. Her wit and charm were legendary and matched only by her leadership on the SAG-AFTRA board and her considerable efforts to merge SAG and AFTRA. She was a wonder. ”
Marcia joined Screen Actors Guild in 1966 and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in 1969. She devoted many years of service to the boards of both SAG and SAG-AFTRA and numerous national committees. She was first elected to the SAG board in 2008, serving a one-year term as First Alternate National Director. In 2009, she was elected to a three-year term on the SAG board. Marcia also was the chair of the national and Hollywood Division elections for multiple SAG elections. She was also a long-time supporter of the SAG Foundation, as well as the AFTRA Foundation.
Born in Creston, Iowa, Marcia was best known for her roles as receptionist Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show and on The Simpsons since 1990 as the voice of acerbic elementary school teacher Edna Krabappel. In 1992, she won an Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for the role. Starting her career on stage and working in improvisation as well as Off-Broadway productions, Marcia moved over to television, appearing 75 times on The Merv Griffin Show. Her appearances on Griffin’s show resulted in her casting on Newhart’s sitcom. Her role as the zany receptionist was written specifically for her.
Following Newhart, Marcia made appearances on a variety of game shows, including Match Game, Hollywood Squares and Win, Lose or Draw. In 2009, she appeared on the daytime drama The Young and the Restless, as kidnapper Annie Wilkes.
In 2010, Wallace, as a member of the SAG National Women’s Committee, and other female actors, participated in Out of Silence: Readings from the Afghan Women’s Writing Project on International Women’s Day at the Museum of Tolerance. The program brought attention to the deplorable human rights conditions of women in Afghanistan. Her reading can be viewed here.
Marcia also worked tirelessly to bring the unions of SAG and AFTRA together and proudly joined her fellow members in celebrating the merger and serving on the transitional board. She was elected over the summer to serve on the first fully-elected SAG-AFTRA national board.