The character 'Carol Kester-Bondurant' was uniquely brought to life by Marcia Wallace on CBS' 'The Bob Newhart Show' from 1972-1978. Wallace's death evokes memories of many past scenes and highlights the evolution of the medium she mastered.
CBS' 1970s' sitcom made Newhart a worldwide star after the standup comedian built a strong following through his vinyl LP 'The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart'. Today, records have been replaced by downloads and television continues its transformation into a variety of emerging platforms. As a result, coach-potatoes have become skilled and selective entertainment consumers.
Fans of 'The Simpsons', voted online to keep Wallace's character 'Edna Krabapple' romantically linked to 'Homer Simpson's' neighbor and nemesis 'Ned Flanders' after season 22 of the Fox masterpiece ended. While Wallace's role on 'The Bob Newhart Show' is fondly remembered, her voice-work in one of the greatest cartoons of all-time enabled access to a collectively greater audience than her first major acting turn did.
The last ratings point is rather ironic, since Wallace was seen by tens of millions of viewers on a weekly basis in the 1970s. Her illustrated character was heard by far fewer ears during live broadcasts of 'The Simpsons'. But, the highly-segmented media landscape still enables enduring shows to be received by the masses.
The fact that the 70-year-old actor was able to thrive through divergent decades speaks highly of her talent and personal charm. Surely both elements combined to create consistent work in her profession.
From Wallace's first television role, as a guest star on 'Bewitched' in 1971, to her yet-to-be-heard final words as 'Edna' and her upcoming (2014) final film role, where she will appear as herself in 'Muffin-Top: A Love Story', Wallace has stayed in the consciousness of the culture. Today's digital world ensures that her pleasant presence will endure.