Marcia Karen Wallace (November 1, 1942 – October 25, 2013) was an American actress, voice artist, comedian, and game show panelist, primarily known for her roles in television situation comedies. She is perhaps best known for her roles as receptionist Carol Kester on the 1970s sitcom The Bob Newhart Show, and as the voice of elementary school teacher Edna Krabappel on the animated series The Simpsons, for which she won an Emmy in 1992.
Wallace was known for her tall frame, red hair, and distinctive laugh. She had a career spanning six decades in TV, in film, and on stage. A frequent guest on The Merv Griffin Show, she was personally recruited for the soon-to-appear network sitcom The Bob Newhart Show, in a role created especially for her. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, she became a cancer activist. She was active throughout her life, with her long-term role as Edna Krabappel retired upon her death.
Wallace married hotelier Dennis Hawley on May 18, 1986, in a Buddhist ceremony. The couple adopted an infant son, Michael Wallace "Mikey" Hawley. Wallace was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, after which she became an activist and lecturer on the subject. Dennis Hawley died from pancreatic cancer in June 1992.
On January 27, 2007, Wallace won the Gilda Radner Courage Award from Roswell Park Cancer Institute for helping educate Americans about the importance of early cancer detection and inspiring others through her 20 years as a breast cancer survivor. Wallace was a member of Delta Zeta sorority and was named the Delta Zeta 2010 Woman of the Year at the 2010 Biennial National Convention in Tucson, Arizona. Her autobiography titled Don't Look Back, We're Not Going That Way, which was published in 2004, recounts the early detection of her breast cancer, the loss of her husband Dennis, her nervous breakdown, her single motherhood and other experiences. She credited the title of the book to her father, who told her that often in childhood.