The Walking Dead Actor Scott Wilson Dies at 76 Due to Complications from Leukemia
The star also appeared in a number of classic movies, including In Cold Blood and The Great Gatsby opposite Robert Redford
Scott Wilson, a star of The Walking Dead, In Cold Blood and many others, died at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday due to complications from leukemia. He was 76.
Wilson’s rep Dominic Mancini confirmed the news to PEOPLE Saturday evening. “Scott was one of the most genuine, inspirational, and truly beloved people,” Mancini said. “His amazing legacy will live on through his timeless performances. He will be missed deeply by his wife, family, and friends.”
“Scott will always be remembered as a great actor and we all feel fortunate to have known him as an even better person,” AMC said in a statement. “The character he embodied on The Walking Dead, Hershel, lived at the emotional core of the show. Like Scott in our lives, Hershel was a character whose actions continue to inform our characters’ choices to this day. Our hearts go out to his wife, family, friends and to the millions of fans who loved him. Scott will be missed.”
The news of Wilson’s death came within hours of the New York Comic-Con announcement that he would be reprising his role as Hershel Greene during the first half of The Walking Dead‘s ninth season, which kicks off this Sunday. It will be one of his final onscreen performances.
Wilson is survived by his wife, Heavenly, whom he married in 1977.
Wilson had a long career before appearing as Herschel Greene during the second season of The Walking Dead and becoming one of the show’s most beloved characters to date.
Born in Georgia in 1942, Wilson made his onscreen debut in 1967’s In the Heat of the Night and followed it up later that year with the role of real-life murderer Dick Hickock in an adaptation of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. He played George Wilson opposite Robert Redford in 1974’s The Great Gatsby and earned a Golden Globe nomination in 1980 for his turn in The Ninth Configuration.
Wilson also made memorable recurring appearances on CSI as Sam Braun, the father of Marg Helgenberger’s Catherine Willows, and followed his time on The Walking Dead with roles on Bosch and The OA.
A number of Wilson’s costars shared their thoughts and memories of him following the news of his death Saturday evening.
“The first time I met Scott Wilson, he gave me a big hug and said that this thing I had become apart of… was a family,” wrote TWD‘s Khary Payton on Twitter. “He said I had a responsibility to take care of it. I have tried very hard to do that, sir. & I will continue. I promise. See you on the other side, my friend.”
“Scott Wilson has departed. I am heartbroken. We are fewer. Go easy into the light brother,” wrote Bosch‘s Titus Welliver.
“I just heard the news about the passing of #ScottWilson,” Yvette Nicole Brown said on Twitter. “He was a wonderful man and I am heartbroken. #RIP #Hershel #TWD”
“Scott Wilson was simply the finest actor and more importantly the finest and most decent man I ever knew. A Noble actor and my dear friend,” wrote Rob Schneider. “Scott Wilson had the best lady to share his life, Heavenly Wilson. My heartfelt condolences to her & to all of Scott’s friends the world over.”
See a few others below:
The official Twitter account for The Walking Dead comic book, upon which the AMC show is based, posted, “We are deeply saddened to report that Scott Wilson, the incredible actor who played Hershel on #TheWalkingDead, has passed away at the age of 76,” the statement read. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in paradise, Scott. We love you.”