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Jessica Walter could earn posthumous Emmy for playing Mallory on ‘Archer’

Legendary actress Jessica Walter may have passed away back in March, but her chances of getting nominated for a posthumous Emmy Award are still very much alive. With the recent release of this year’s Emmy nomination ballots, we found out that Walter is being submitted in the Best Character Voice-Over Performance category for voicing the toxic matriarch, Mallory Archer, on the Emmy-winning FXX series “Archer.”

Walter is on the ballot for her work in the season 11 episode, “The Double Date.” Mallory first appears several minutes into the episode when she shows up at a restaurant where Sterling (H. Jon Benjamin) is supposed to be following an elusive Russian hacker. Mallory is shocked to see that Sterling has brought a date to the mission in order to make his ex, Lana (Aisha Tyler), jealous since she’s now married to Robert (Stephen Tobolowsky), an older man. When they group leaves the restaurant to trail the hacker, Mallory and Robert end up connecting through their inner crabbiness to the point where Lana finds the two of them at her apartment reciting lines of an old movie while watching it on television.

While Mallory doesn’t come into the episode until well into its run, Walter gets a great chance to deliver several great one-liners that the character became known for. While getting caught in traffic, she muses, “This is what happens when you give bicyclists their own lane. What’s next, a lane for vegetarians?” When a squeegee man starts cleaning Sterling’s windshield, she yells, “Don’t spray that urine on my son’s window. If you want a dollar for doing nothing, walk to Canada!” When trying to grab a carriage in Central Park, she says something flattering to the driver and follows it up with, “I was talking to the horse. I figured he ran the business.” During the carriage ride she scolds the driver by yelling, “Now we’re going too fast. We’re trying to follow that horse in front of us, not inseminate it!” Her and Tobolowsky also get to close the episode as their characters reciting a line from a movie they’re watching together, “Fill my boots with lead and jump in the ocean, you pig-nosed gypsy!”

A posthumous nomination would bring Walter’s career Emmy tally to five bids. Her first Emmy nom, which resulted in her only win, came in Limited Series Actress for the short-lived NBC series, “Amy Prentiss,” in 1975. Two years later she scored another nomination, this time for Drama Guest Actress for a guest appearance on “The Streets of San Francisco.” In 1980 she earned her third citation for Drama Supporting Actress for playing Melanie McIntyre on “Trapper John, M.D.” 25 years later, in 2005, Walter would score her fourth bid in Comedy Supporting Actress for her iconic portrayal of Lucille Bluth on “Arrested Development.”

Whether or not Walter gets nominated this year, this likely isn’t her last shot at an Emmy nomination. During our recent Meet the Experts: Television Animation panel, showrunner Casey Willis revealed that Walter had already recorded her lines for much of the upcoming 12th season of “Archer.” Those episodes will certainly be airing during the eligibility for the Emmys in 2022 and it’s very likely we’ll see her on a nominating ballot one last time next year for her work on the series.

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