The Walking Dead’s Scott Wilson passed away at the age of 76 in his Los Angeles home due to complications from leukemia.
Wilson was born in Georgia in 1942, and first appeared on the big screen in 1967’s In the Heat of the Night. He then followed it up with Cold Blood, The Great Gatsby in 1974 and The Ninth Configuration, for which she was nominated for an Oscar in 1980.
The actor appeared in more than 30 episodes of The Walking Dead between 2011 and 2014 as Hershel, before his character was killed off in the fourth season. The announcement of his passing came hours after the New York Comic Con announcement that he would be playing Hershel again for TWD‘s ninth season.
Wilson’s rep, Dominic Mancini, told People, “Scott was one of the most genuine, inspirational, and truly beloved people. His amazing legacy will live on through his timeless performances. He will be missed deeply by his wife, family, and friends.”
AMC said in a statement, “Scott will always be remembered as a great actor and we all feel fortunate to have known him as an even better person. 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.”
Other actors have also paid tribute since the news broke. TWD‘s Khary Peaton wrote, “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. 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.”
Yvette Nicole Brown wrote, “I just heard the news about the passing of #ScottWilson. He was a wonderful man and I am heartbroken. #RIP #Hershel #TWD.”
Rob Schneider wrote, “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. 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.”
Chandler Riggs said on Instagram, “my main squiz”. scott and i always said that to each other on set (followed by finger guns), and i still have no idea what it means – but man am i gonna miss you. we all learned so much from you, and it’s so saddening to hear that you aren’t with us anymore. i’ll never forget the things you told me and the time we spent together on set. love you man. i’m gonna miss you.”
Wilson is survived by his wife, Heavenly, whom he married in 1977.