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Emmy-winning Marcia Wallace, ‘Simpsons’ voice, dies at 70


LOS ANGELES – Emmy Award-winning actress Marcia Wallace, who voiced the “Simpsons” role of Edna Krabappel and played wisecracking receptionist Carol Kester on the classic sitcom “The Bob Newhart Show,” has died at the age of 70.

Wallace died at home in Los Angeles Friday night, surrounded by friends and family, said her son, Michael Hawley.

She had been in failing health for the last several months and died of complications due to pneumonia, Hawley said. Wallace, who had spoken widely about her battles with breast cancer, had surgery for it in March, after which she was considered clear of the disease, her son said.

The executive producer of “The Simpsons,” Al Jean, said Saturday that the part of Mrs. Krabappel, the chain-smoking Springfield Elementary School teacher who was often driven to frustration by Bart Simpson, will be retired.

“I don’t intend to have anyone else play Mrs. Krabappel,” Jean said. “I think Bart will get a new teacher.”

Wallace won a 1992 Emmy for her work on the long-running show. Jean said the next new episode, set to air Nov. 3, will include a tribute to the actress.

“She was sweet, funny, not at all pretentious,” he said. “You fall in love with these people when you see them as characters on television, but when you met Marcia you loved her even more.”

Wallace, who had an acerbic wit and was known for her trademark red hair, had several television and stage roles and was a regular on talk shows before being cast as Carol Kester on the Bob Newhart sitcom that ran on CBS from 1972 to 1978.