Who were Jessica Walters' husbands? A look at her marriage with Ross Bowman and love story with Ron Leibman

Jessica Walter died in her sleep in her home in New York City, but a cause of death was not revealed


                            Who were Jessica Walters' husbands? A look at her marriage with Ross Bowman and love story with Ron Leibman
Actor Ron Leibman and wife actress Jessica Walter (Getty Images)

Award-winning actress, Jessica Walter died in her sleep in her home in New York City on Wednesday, March 24. Her death was reportedly confirmed by Kelli Jones, her publicist but a cause was not revealed. The 80-year-old actress had a career that had spanned over five decades and was known for her impressive delivery in voicing Malory Archer on the FX animated series 'Archer' and her unforgettable performance on 'Arrested Development' as Lucille Bluth. The Emmy-winning actress was also part of Clint Eastwood’s directorial debut, 'Play Misty for Me'. Many also remember her as Tabitha Wilson in '90210' (2008-2009), Pat in 'Grand Prix' (1966), and Libby in 'The Group' (1966). Her recent works include the TV Movie 'Rediscovering Christmas' (2019), Judith in 'Good Girls' (2019-2020), and Wendy in the 'Harley Quinn' TV series. 

Walter was married twice and shares a daughter Brooke Bowman with her first husband, Ross Bowman. Her second marriage was to Ron Leibman. Brooke made the announcement of her mother's death in a statement saying, "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off. While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class and overall joie de vivre."

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A look at her Jessica Walter's marriages

Ross Bowman

Walter and Bowman, a former Broadway stage manager and television director were married from 1966-1978. The couple share daughter Brooke, now a Senior Vice President of Drama Programming at Fox Entertainment, who was born in 1972. The couple divorced in 1978. As per reports, the Walter met Bowman at the time because he was a theater manager.

Bowman, who was born on December 5, 1926 is a director and is known for his works in 'Big John, Little John' (1976), 'Love, American Style' (1969) and 'The Brady Bunch' (1969). Walter was his second wife, he was previously married to Jane Maureen Dowdy, and married Jeanne Bal after Walter. Bowman who also directed Woody Allen’s play, 'Don’t Drink The Water,' is also father-in-law to David Heymann. He died on June 8, 2018

Ron Leibman

The duo met in 1982 at actresses Brenda Vaccaro's home and Liebman was reportedly "reluctant" to date another actress because of his divorce with former '70s sitcom star Linda Lavin. The couple had gone on their first date after Vaccaro "pushed" them, and a year after the couple were exchanging vows. Walter and Leibman married in 1983, and the couple stayed together till Leibman died in 2019. The couple even worked together later in their career with Liebman joiing the cast of 'Archer' as Ron Cadillac. They were also seen together in the 1986 Los Angeles Theatre Center production of comedy 'Tartuffe' and in the 1988 performance of Neil Simon's play titled 'Rumors'.

"There are no egos when it comes to our work. We don't compete, we're not trying to prove anything to each other. I think that's why we got married: We'd both reached a point in our lives where we weren't fighting," Walter told the Los Angeles Times in 1986. The couple were married for over 40 years and managed to encourage each other publicly on many occasions. In 1984, Walter said to People, "Pray for Ron's success. The happier he is, the happier I am, and I know he feels the same way about me." She added, "He's the most interesting person I've ever met. Can you imagine a man who's handsome and sexy and also subscribes to the New Republic?"

Ron Leibman (L) and Jessica Walter attend Arthur Miller - One Night 100 Years Benefit at Lyceum Theatre on January 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Leibman was also a great step-father as well and knew that Brooke was going to be a part of his life when he started to date Walter. He told People, "I'm this other guy, an addition to her life rather than a minus. The fact that Jessie was an actress frightened me. I'd been married to an actress, and I understood the difficulties. I also knew I would be getting involved with two people, not just one. It scared me."

Leibman, who was born on October 11, 1937, was an American actor who was known for his role as Roy Cohn in 'Angels in America: Millennium Approaches.' His delivery earned him a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play in 1993. He was also known for his role as Martin 'Kaz' Kazinsky in the crime drama 'Kaz' which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award in 1979. Many many most popular remember him for playing Dr. Leonard Green, Rachel's rich, and hilariously short-tempered father, on 'Friends.' (1996–2004).

Fans pay tribute

Tributes poured in on Twitter for the actress who was an icon in her own right. One user wrote, "Rest In Peace to a brilliant actor. I will certainly miss Jessica Walter. The voice and face of some of my favorite shows of all time." Another added, "RIP Jessica Walter. She would’ve loved to see how people are honoring her on Twitter today." People took to the social media channel to post pictures of the actress during her prime days, with one user writing, "Jessica Walter answering the phone in the most iconic ways possible in THE GROUP (1966)" along with stunning images of Walter. Yet another user added, "Jessica Walter on Arrested Development was an example of that sitcom thing where the character was perfectly realized from episode one but you could tell the writers were so pleased with the performance that they just gave her better and better material."

 



 

 



 

 



 

 



 

Actor Jason Bateman tweeted, "R. I. P. Jessica Walter. What an incredible career, filled with amazing performances. I will forever remember my time with her, watching her bring Lucille Bluth to life. She was one of a kind. All my love and thoughts to her family." Ron Howard added, "What a brilliant, funny, intelligent and strong woman. RIP Jessica Walter, and thank you for a lifetime of laughs and for sharing your incredible talent on our show and with the world. #jessicawalter."

 



 

 



 

Tim Young tweeted, "RIP Jessica Walter... one of the funniest and most underrated comedic actresses of our time." Meredith Salenger said, "Saddened to hear about the passing of the amazing talented and feisty #JessicaWalter. I was lucky to work with her on a film where she played my mother. She was a force of nature. One of the greats."

 



 

 



 

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