Actress Marcia Wallace appeared in scores of TV shows, from The Bob Newhart Show to Taxi. But Wallace, who died on Oct. 25 at age 70 in Los Angeles, made her biggest impression in The Simpsons, as the voice of Edna Krabappel, an embittered, chain-smoking fourth-grade teacher with the misfortune of having Bart as a student.
On Nov. 3 the show paid a poignant tribute to Wallace in the opening credits, during which Bart – who never received a grade higher than D from Mrs. Krabappel’s red pen – is customarily punished by having to write a sentence over and over on the blackboard.
Wallace won an Emmy in 1992 for her portrayal of Krabappel, whose frumpy green cardigan and world-weary visage scarcely concealed her desire for male companionship. She had a string of steamy but ill-fated liaisons with paramours ranging from Principal Skinner to dorky Simpsons neighbor Ned Flanders, but the love of her life may have been “Woodrow,” a suitor Bart fabricated to answer her lonely-hearts ad.
Krabappel soothed her aching heart with heavy doses of scathing cynicism (“Your permanent record will one day disqualify you from all but the hottest and noisiest jobs,” she once told Bart) and her caustic high-pitched laugh.
The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean announced in a Facebook post that the show will retire the Mrs. Krabappel character. From the British newspaper The Guardian, here’s one critic’s pick of the five best Krabappel moments in Simpsons history.
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