Tragedy has struck the world of "" this weekend, as Marcia Wallace, best known for voicing the character of Edna Krabappel on the long-running animated show, has passed away at age 70. According to , she had been sick for several months before her passing, and executive producer Al Jean also told the website that she has been unable to do voice work recently due to her declining health. A former breast cancer survivor, she had worked with a number of organizations over the years to raise awareness of and battle the disease.
What we can tell you now related to the show is that Edna was not the character that Jean is at some point over the next two seasons. One of the benefits of doing a cartoon is that there are a number of ways in which to write a character off the show, and it is more likely now that this role will just be "retired" rather than to make some sort of gruesome death over someone who is no longer living.
Jean said that there was a story that they were working on for the Edna character prior to this passing, but this will obviously need to change now. This show is far different than "South Park" in that they have to plan episodes close to a full year in advance, just to make time for the animating process to be complete. This is why the show was recently, and why we will know a long time in advance when the final season for the show is going to arrive.
Of course, Wallace will surely be missed as a member of the show's longtime family. When you consider how long some of these actors and producers have been working on this show, that's what it really is: They have been around each other longer than some of their viewers have been alive.
"The Simpsons" continues to air new episodes on Fox Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time.