For a TV fiend growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, like myself, Marcia Wallace was ubiquitous. She sold Jan Brady her infamous brown Afro wig.
As Bob Newhart’s wisecracking single gal secretary, she was the highlight of The Bob Newhart Show.
She played the magical drama teacher (aren’t they all?) who encourages Louise to find her powers in the musical Teen Witch, which played on HBO every day for at least 10 years.
I most know and love her for these characters, and hope that they won’t be overshadowed by her tour de force triumph as Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons.
Ms. Krabappel could have been the poster woman for the frustrations of working in a public school system that undervalues teachers. However, like so many teachers, the character dealt with the educational system’s deep-rooted problems with an infectious wit and sense of strength that Wallace invested with her unique voice and performance style.
I’m one of the millions who will miss Marcia Wallace. Her face, voice, and way of being always provided me with immense comfort and happiness. We’re lucky to have known her gifts.
--Ben Raphael Sher
Marcia Wallace died on October 25, 2013.