Yesterday came sad news that Marcia Wallace has passed away at the age of 70. Besides starring on “The Bob Newhart Show” in the 70s, Wallace also is noted for having done voice work in animation, most famously as Mrs. Krabappel on “The Simpsons.” Mrs. Krabappel’s name, of course, is a pun on “crab apple,” which probably sums up her personality, especially when dealing with Bart.
“Simpsons” producer Al Jean has stated he plans to retire the character of Mrs. Krabappel in memory of Wallace. This is similar to the retiring of Phil Hartman’s characters of Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz after his death. No word on what explanation in-series (if any) will be given for the change, since unlike McClure and Hutz’s absence, Mrs. Krabappel is one of the more important secondary characters, as Bart’s schoolteacher.
My favorite Mrs. Krabappel line is from the third season episode that focused on her, “Bart the Lover”:
Miss Hoover: I fail to see the educational value of this assembly.
Mrs. Krabappel: Ah, it will be one of their few pleasant memories when they’re pumping gas for a living.
Besides “The Simpsons,” Wallace has also done voices for other cartoons, including “Captain Planet” (as Wheeler’s mother) and “Darkwing Duck” (as Taurus Bulba’s secretary Clovis).