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The Big Bang Theory Character You Likely Forgot Jessica Walter Played

The late Jessica Walter had an impressive career as an actor that stretched all the way back to the early '60s, when she got her start on the stage. Soon enough, she was racking up feature film and television credits, and eventually landed the lead role in the thriller "Play Misty for Me," which happened to be the directorial debut of Clint Eastwood. But several of Walter's most memorable signature roles came late in her career. If you know her by name, it's likely because you are a fan of her characters on one (or both) of two 21st century comedy classics — the ruthless, cutting matriarch Lucille Bluth of "Arrested Development," and hardened, gin-soaked spymaster Malory Archer of "Archer."

Beyond those two legendary performances, Walter also appeared in a variety of other films and TV shows up until her death in 2021, often in scene-stealing guest-starring roles. One of those projects is the massively popular sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," which many likely don't remember seeing her in. But she made an appearance in the show in 2011.

Walter appeared in a Season 4 episode called The Benefactor Factor

Even just a brief glimpse at Jessica Walter's credits on IMDb will uncover plenty of gems you might have forgotten or never knew about in the first place. But the one that concerns us here is Season 4, Episode 15 of "The Big Bang Theory," entitled "The Benefactor Factor."

The benefactor of the title is an unnamed character played by an uncredited Richard Benard, but it's Walter who, in characteristic fashion, steals the show as Mrs. Latham, an acid-tongued woman of wealth who becomes a benefactor herself to Leonard (Johnny Galecki), who's seeking funds for a university research project. The part shares some tonal similarities with Walter's most famous roles, and fans of "Arrested Development" or "Archer" might do well to check it out for themselves the next time they find themselves missing Lucille or Malory's biting and inappropriate witticisms.