Over the weekend 'Simpsons' fans were distressed to learn that voice actress Marcia Wallace had tragically lost her battle with breast cancer, though producers of the long-running FOX series were left in the unfortunate position of having to explain that an upcoming character death wouldn't be that of Wallace's Mrs. Edna Krabappel. The character will now be retired, but how do producers plan to handle the exit?

Given the long and costly nature of 'Simpsons' animation, Wallace had actually completed approximately a year's worth of voice work for the character, meaning we won't actually see Mrs. Krabappel depart the series until sometime next year. Executive producer Al Jean confirmed to TMZ that the character would be retired, rather than replaced in the role with a sound-alike, while the "death" of a peripheral character would take place earlier in 2014.

Elsewhere, confirmed to lend their voice to the current 25th season are ‘Parks and Recreation’ star Nick Offerman, Judd Apatow, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Channing Tatum, Seth Rogen, ‘Daily Show‘ vet John Oliver, returning ‘Parks and Recreation‘ star Amy Poehler, ‘Harry Potter’ vet Daniel Radcliffe, ‘Mad Men‘ star Elisabeth Moss, comic legend Stan Lee, and ‘The Newsroom‘ creator and acclaimed writer Aaron Sorkin.

We're relieved to hear that Krabapel will be retired after Wallace's passing, though we'll have at least a year before feeling the loss all over again. What say you? Should 'The Simpsons' write the character out of episodes any earlier, or stick with current plans?

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