It’s never easy to say goodbye to favorite characters on a television show. The Walking Dead developed a reputation—every character fans felt deeply for in one way or another met a ghastly, gruesome death. We don’t just miss the characters, though. The actors behind the fallen survivors are talented, caring people who get pigeon-holed into this one moment in their career. Many have gone on to do amazing things since. It’s time we took a look back at some of the show’s more memorable deceased characters and played catch-up with the actors who brought them to life.
Life After Death, Vol. 10
By R.C. Murphy
Unfortunately, the reality during an apocalyptic scenario is that most people will not make it far with their families intact—these solo folks tend to fall to the wayside on the show quite often. There were some pretty stellar actors brought in to populate Woodbury, and some managed to survive long enough to see season four. Unfortunately since we’re talking about them here, the buck stopped for them all by the season’s conclusion.
Karen started as a voice in the crowd who’d occasionally butt heads with The Governor and his commanders, demanding, at the very least, some transparency from their leader. She was one of few left alive to join the prison community after a failed mutiny. Even rarer, she found a place in their ranks and formed strong bonds with several characters, including Tyreese. It took a mysterious, mass-panic-inducing illness to snatch Karen from her new, safer home. Cruelest of all, her death at Carol’s hand is shown repeatedly in flashbacks into the fifth season.
Fans of Melissa Ponzio knew it wouldn’t be long before she hit the airwaves again. After all, Ponzio has been a regular cast member on MTV’s Teen Wolf since day one, playing mother to the show’s leading werewolf. Teen Wolf returns to the small screen for its sixth and final season on November 15th. Ponzio also had a recurring role on Chicago Fire after departing TWD. She attends fan conventions as her schedule allows with fellow TWD and TW cast members.
Every dictator needs strong men to keep things in order. Martinez filled the role nicely. He wanted to believe The Governor could provide the leadership necessary to ensure they’d survive in Woodbury, no matter if their enemy was alive or dead. When Philip failed them all, Martinez made his own camp to protect. It wasn’t until he had people to call his that we see the caretaker side to the character. And then Phillip threw him in a pit of walkers.
Not long after leaving a show where they hunted down zombies, Jose Pablo Cantillo found himself on Constantine, where they hunted . . . just about everything which would snatch you from bed in the middle of the night. Later, Cantillo joined Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackson, and Sigourney Weaver in the Sci-Fi/Thriller Chappie. He also appeared in Solace with Anthony Hopkins, and recent TWD addition Jeffrey Dean Morgan. His next project will be the Taken television adaptation with Clive Standen. Breaking into other forms of entertainment, Cantillo helped create Free Me, a social-media inspired card game.
Like most secondary child characters, Meghan Chambler existed to perish and push a lead male character to make a horrible decision about the future of their people. Which sucks. The younger generation of survivors deserve a chance. We never got much from Meg, save she really wanted to learn how to beat “Brian” at chess.
Meyrick Murphy is a name to keep an eye on. She’s moved on from being a plot pawn on TWD to starring in several Nickelodeon shows—Legendary Dudas, 100 Things to Do Before High School, School of Rock. Murphy also provided the voice for Mari in the critically acclaimed film Kubo and the Two Strings. It’s still in theaters. Don’t miss your chance to see it on the big screen.
Philip Blake. There’s a world to say about the man who more or less ran the show for nearly two seasons. He was deadly in his practicality and desire to safeguard the haven he carved from the apocalypse-ruined land. There may have been a screw or ten loose in Philip’s head, which we never fully realized until he’s abandoned by his people and he’s forced to rely on his own charm to get by. Like many men determined to make a name for himself, the quiet life Philip created—under the name Brian—wasn’t enough to satisfy his needs. After staging an attack on the prison, complete with a tank, Philip’s single-minded need to destroy Rick cost him everything when Michonne snuck up and stabbed him.
As much as I love David Morrissey, it was a blessing for The Governor to skip on to zombie-less, cloudy fields. Post-TWD, Morrissey landed on CBS’ Extant as Tobias Shepherd. In May 2016, the film The Ones Below was released, starring Morrissey, Clémence Poésy, and Stephen Campbell Moore. The Missing will return to Starz for a second season, featuring a new case and Morrissey as Sam, father of a missing, then miraculously found child. He is also working on Britannia, a 10-part drama set during the Roman invasion of the British isles in 43 A.D.. The miniseries is a joint effort between Sky and Amazon—Sky 1 airing Britannia in the UK and Amazon streaming it in the USA in 2017.