The Simpsons paid tribute to Marcia Wallace, voice of school teacher Edna Krabappel, with a chalkboard message in Sunday night's episode.
The chalkboard message, "We'll really miss you Mrs K," featured in the premiere of the new series on US channel Fox.
Marcia Wallace died aged 70 last month. She was famed for playing Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson's jaded school teacher, for more than 20 years, winning an Emmy for the role in 1992.
Ahead of Sunday night's premiere, Fox aired a classic episode of the show, The Ned-liest catch, in which Edna starts dating Ned Flanders, who is surprised to learn she's been with many of Springfield's men, including Principal Skinner.
Al Jean, the show's executive producer, said in a statement last month: "I was tremendously saddened to learn this morning of the passing of the brilliant and gracious Marcia Wallace.
She was beloved by all at The Simpsons and we intend to retire her irreplaceable character."
He said her death was "a terrible loss for all who had the pleasure of knowing her".
According to celebrity news website TMZ, Wallace died at home with her family by her side, having been ill for a few months.
She was also known as receptionist Carol Kester on The Bob Newhart Show, which ran for six years until 1978.