'The Simpsons' bids farewell to the late actress Marcia Wallace

By Patrick Kevin Day

Los Angeles Times

"The Simpsons" farewell to its longtime cast member Marcia Wallace was simple but touching. During the opening sequence of Sunday night's episode, "Four Regrettings and a Funeral," Bart was spotted writing the farewell message, "We'll really miss you Mrs. K." on the Springfield school chalkboard.

Wallace, who voiced Bart's fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Krabappel since the show's second episode in 1990, died Oct. 25 due to complications from pneumonia. She had been in poor health for a long time due to a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

Wallace won an Emmy for playing Krabappel in 1992, and "Simpsons" producers have said they will retire the character rather than try to find someone new to play the role.

The new episode, which was also notable for its lengthy, "Hobbit"-inspired couch gag in the opening credits, was paired with a classic episode "The Ned-liest Catch," in which Wallace's character began dating widower Ned Flanders. The two characters later married.

"The Simpsons" has rarely completely retired any of its characters. Maude Flanders was killed in an episode in 2000. But the character has continued to return as a ghost or through flashbacks.