What happens when TV’s No. 1 show kills off its stars?
For some stars, it means reteaming with former showrunners Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara, while others continue to revisit the world of science fiction.
Here’s an update on what some of most beloved stars from AMC’s zombie drama are doing now.
Jon Bernthal (Shane)
After Rick’s former best friend Shane was killed off in the penultimate episode of season two, Bernthal signed on to star in TNT’s short-lived mini Mob City from former Walking Dead showrunner Darabont — who originally cast him in the zombie drama. On the feature side, he has also had roles in The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury before returning to television with a role in HBO’s David Simon mini Show Me a Hero. Up next, he’ll play another beloved comic book character when he takes on Marvel favorite the Punisher in Netflix’s Daredevil.
Madison Lintz (Sophia)
The (lengthy) search for Sophia ended when Carol’s (Melissa McBride) daughter — now a zombie — was revealed to have been kept in Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) barn in the season two midseason finale. The actress reunited with Wilson for Amazon’s Bosch and has had roles on Nashville and features Parental Guidance, After and Tell Me Your Name.
Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori)
Rick’s late wife perished in the fourth episode of season three when her son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), had to put her down after she died during childbirth. The actress will return to cable this season with the female lead opposite Lost‘s Josh Holloway in Carton Cuse‘s USA Network alien drama Colony.
Irone Singleton (T-Dog)
The actor — whose T-Dog was killed in the same episode as Callies‘ Lori — has appeared in TNT’s Franklin & Bash and the indie A Box For Rob, but has focused on his one-man stage show Blindsided by The Walking Dead, which promotes AIDS awareness and positive change in society.
Emma Bell (Amy)
Andrea’s younger sister was bitten twice during a season one attack on the group. Andrea remained by her side and had to deliver the fatal bullet that prevented Amy from turning. Since the zombie drama, Bell had a guest gig on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU before starring as Emma on TNT’s Dallas reboot. She’s also had a busy film schedule with roles in features including The Good Ones, Final Destination 5 and voicing Parker in Frozen.
Laurie Holden (Andrea)
Andrea’s death was one of, if not the biggest, departure from Robert Kirkman’s comics, where she continues to have a central role. The character was killed off in the season three finale when she took her own life after failing to escape a chamber with a zombie-fied Milton. Since then, Holden has remained busy with a film role in Dumb and Dumber To and TV gigs on TNT’s Major Crimes and NBC’s Chicago Med, where she’ll play a series regular role of an ER doctor.
Jeff DeMunn (Dale)
Remember Dale, the group’s first moral compass? He was killed off in the 11th episode of season two when the walker Carl baited out of the mud caught up with Dale, who had stormed off after a dispute about Randall’s life. Since then, DeMunn has reteamed with Darabont and Bernthal for TNT’s Mob City and has had guest roles on Showtime’s The Affair and NBC’s The Blacklist. He next has feature Halfway due next year.
Michael Rooker (Merle)
Daryl’s racist big brother Merle went head-to-head with The Governor (David Morrissey) and lost in the penultimate episode of season three. Since then, Rooker had a key role in another comic book property, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, in addition to a role in feature Brother’s Keeper.
Scott Wilson (Hershel)
The group’s follow-up moral compass to Dale, Hershel died in the season four midseason finale in one of the show’s most graphic and heartbreaking deaths when The Governor slashed his neck in front of daughters Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Beth (Emily Kinney). Since then, Wilson has recurred on Amazon’s Bosch and will next reunite with Mazzara for a meaty role on A&E’s The Omen sequel, Damien.
Emily Kinney (Beth)
The season five midseason finale saw one of the show’s most beloved characters, Beth, killed off when a hostage exchange turned violent. The good news: She killed Dawn (Christine Woods), but paid the price in doing so. Since then, the singer-actress has released a studio album and booked work on The CW’s comic adaption of The Flash — playing a villain! — and, more recently, a recurring role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex.
David Morrissey (The Governor)
Since portraying one of the comic’s most iconic villains, Morrissey — whose Governor was killed by Lilly in the season four midseason finale — has remained busy. The actor — who popped back in to torment a dying Tyreese — has launched a production company with a deal at BBC Worldwide, starred in BBC thriller The Driver — which he’s adapting at Showtime — and starred on AMC pilot Line of Sight. He’s currently recurring on CBS’ Halle Berry summer drama Extant.
Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese)
Tyreese exited the drama in season five’s midseason premiere when he was bitten by one of Noah’s younger twin brothers — both had turned — while he was trying to console the group’s newest member after he discovered his entire family was gone. Since then, The Wire alum went back into the sci-fi world with a recurring role as Col. Frederick Lucius Johnson on Syfy’s The Expanse.
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob)
After finding happiness on the zombie drama, there was no way that Bob would wind up sticking around much longer. The character died in episode 503 when, after his leg was cut off and eaten by the cannibals, he was returned to the church and his girlfriend Sasha had to put him down. Since then, Gilliard has had roles on CBS’ The Good Wife and USA Network’s Graceland.
Andrew J. West (Gareth)
Speaking of the cannibals, the head of them all became an instant fan favorite despite Gareth’s dubious deeds. Since he was whacked in episode 503, West starred in The CW’s Dead People pilot and has appeared on CBS’ Under the Dome, TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland and FX’s Justified.
Tyler James Williams (Noah)
After Noah was savagely killed off in episode 514, Williams didn’t wait long to book his follow-up gig: he’ll be a series regular on ABC’s Criminal Minds spinoff debuting in the fall.
AMC’s The Walking Dead returns for its sixth season Sunday, Oct. 11 at 9 p.m. on AMC. Which characters do you miss most? Sound off in the comments section below.