The creators of The Simpsons have paid tribute to late Edna Krabappel actor Marcia Wallace by using her old lines.
In yesterday’s (February 21) episode Diary Queen – the show’s 696th episode – producers repurposed two of Wallace’s lines spoken for her character, Springfield Elementary School teacher Mrs Krabappel. The move came seven years after Wallace’s unexpected death in 2013 and was a deliberate choice to pay tribute to the Emmy award-winning actor.
“Sadly, it was very surprising passing. I didn’t know she was that ill until very close to when it happened,” executive producer Al Jean told Variety. “So we never got the chance to give sort of a proper goodbye to her in the show, and this is a small attempt to do that.”
He continued: “She was so beloved by everybody that worked on The Simpsons that we just sort of wanted to give her one last moment on the show in her memory. It’s just that, it’s nothing more, but, we thought she was the best.”
In the episode Bart Simpson discovers Mrs Krabappel’s diary and finds entries that appear to show how much she believed him in as a student. Jean said the producers used two lines by Wallace that had been used previously on the show to fit it into the new storyline – all with the late actor’s estate’s blessing.
Despite Bart misinterpreting Mrs Krabappel’s words in the episode, the teacher’s widower Ned Flanders (who lost his first wife, Maude, in season 11) tells Bart that she still thought fondly of him.
Mrs Krabappel’s passing was referenced in the March 2014 episode The Man Who Grew Too Much, although the cause of the character’s death wasn’t revealed.
“I don’t think that people these days want to necessarily know how a character passed away,” Jean added to Variety. “But we reveal a little bit more about [Mrs. Krabappel] and then a little bit more about her life and how the character was feeling when she passed.”
Wallace, who died age 70 in 2013, won an Emmy in 1992 for outstanding voiceover performance in The Simpsons.