Spoiler Warning: We’re going to discuss pretty much every significant death from The Walking Dead in this article.
The Walking Dead is a show built on death, and yet we find characters that push back against the end, against zombies, and against humans that have long slipped the chain of humanity. We form attachments to these characters, but they are fleeting. The producers have to keep the line moving and they have to constantly remind us of the danger. It’s a hell of a process that leaves a few actors unemployed every season, but thankfully the internet exists so we can track down those actors and uncover what they’ve been up to in their careers since The Walking Dead.
Noah Emmerich (Dr. Edwin Jenner)
Dr. Jenner had wine, working showers, and secrets — pretty much the trifecta for a fun party host in the post-apocalypse. Sadly, he also had a want to die and an exploding “home.” Emmerich now plays Stan Beeman on The Americans.
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Otis)
Shane sacrificed Otis to save his own ass while on a supply run to help save Carl’s life after Otis had accidentally shot him. The guilt caused Shane to constantly touch his head. That’s my theory, at least.
After being devoured like a bunch of chicken wings at a Golden Corall buffet after tray-switchin hour, Taylor Vince continued to recur on The Mentalist (Uda Bengt’s favorite show) and played a psychiatrist in a vampire conversion camp on True Blood.
Madison Lintz (Sophia Peletier)
After her last heart breaking appearance on the show as Carol’s then-zombified daughter Sophia, Lintz starred opposite Billy Crystal in Parental Guidance and now plays Titus Welliver’s daughter on Bosch.
Jeffrey DeMunn (Dale)
I don’t think The Walking Dead‘s sage moralist would have fared well in these more recent seasons, but every so often, I still miss Dale, don’t you?
Always a favorite of Frank Darabont’s, DeMunn appeared in the one-and-done Mob City in 2013. Since then, he’s popped up in two episodes of The Good Wife, and one of The Blacklist. He also has a supporting role in Adult Beginners. In which he is topless. Yes.
Jon Bernthal (Shane)
Shane’s legacy may have been that he was a little right a lot of the time, but in the end, his death made sense and it’s been more fun to watch Rick unconsciously take a lot of steps that his former buddy probably would have made.
Bernthal is going to appear beside Anna Kendrick, Ben Affleck, and JK Simmons in The Accountants next.
IronE Singleton (T-Dog)
You bet your ass T-Dog popped up as a judge on Franklin and Bash. That’s about it, though. If you see him at a convention, offer to buy him a soda or say something. Seems like a nice guy.
Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes)
It’s all subjective, of course, but I’d say Lori’s death had the biggest footprint of all the deaths on the show thanks to how it shaped Rick, Carl, and the rest. Thoughts? Anyway, Callies starred in Into the Storm with Richard Armitage in 2014. Next up, she’s got a Nic Cage movie called Pay the Ghost, and a role in the Carlton Cuse produced series, Colony.
Lew Temple (Axel)
Former major league baseball scout (factoided!) Lew Temple has gone on to appear in more than a dozen movies that you’ve never heard of and one that you might want to forget (The Lone Ranger). He’s set to appear in Rob Zombie’s 31 next.
Dallas Roberts (Milton)
Roberts has had lengthy runs on both The Good Wife and Unforgettable in his time away from zombieland. Next up, he can be seen opposite Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong in Geezer.
Laurie Holden (Andrea)
Holden appeared in Dumb and Dumber II and on three Major Crimes episodes for TNT after Milton took a bite out of her character on The Walking Dead. She can next be seen on the Chicago Fire medical spin-off.
Michael Rooker (Merle)
Few character get to blast Motorhead before launching into a suicide mission against a one-eyed murderer and his henchmen, but Merle was special. That’s why the video of that badass exit is above and not a picture of him as a zombie before Daryl put him down. I want you to remember Merle as he lived, dammit.
I also want you to remember Michael Rooker’s performance as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy, because that’s his last big role, but I’m sure more will come because he’s Michael Rooker.
Scott Wilson (Hershel)
Wilson’s had a long and busy career as a character actor, but his only post-decapitation on The Walking Dead work was a three-episode arc on Bosch. He has been active on the convention circuit where people doubtlessly ask if they can see his leg, though. So there’s that.
David Morrissey (The Governor)
It seemed like Morrissey was going to stay at AMC after The Walking Dead‘s premiere big bad was killed off, but the network opted not to make his plane crash drama Line of Sight, so he instead went to CBS and will co-star with Halle Berry in the second season of Extant this summer. He’s also good for an occasional flashback on The Walking Dead, apparently.
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob Stookey)
Gilliard Jr. is set to appear in Danny DeVito’s St. Sebastian and he’s going to join the cast of USA’s Graceland where he can be assured that he will never be eaten by cannibals unless that show takes a weird turn.
Emily Kinney (Beth)
The Walking Dead‘s resident songbird, Beth Greene, got forever silenced when she tried to get tough with Dawn, but Kinney bounced back quick from her exit to play a comic book villain on The Flash named Brie Larvan, aka The Bug-Eyed Bandit. Next up, Kinney will join the cast of The Knick for its second season.
Chad L. Coleman (Tyrese)
Tyrese got the kind of true death episode that few actors get complete with flashbacks and a little dismemberment for good measure. Now, he’s transitioning to another genre show with Syfy’s The Expanse, but he wasn’t in the initial trailer, so who knows what kind of role he’ll have.
Coleman is also producing a film called When January Feels Like Summer that is an adaptation of a play of the same name.
Tyler James Williams (Noah)
Noah didn’t really get much of a chance to weave his way into our hearts and he was indirectly connected to a lot of death — his family, Beth, and Tyrese. Still, his architectural aspirations seemed like a bright burst of possibility, which meant that he was super doomed. Williams is set to co-star in the latest Criminal Minds spin-off.