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10 Times An Actor's Death Was Written Into A Show | ScreenRant

It's always sad when a favorite character on a TV series passes away, but it has become par for the course for many dramas nowadays, thanks to a trend popularized by series like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. But sometimes, the death wasn't intentional.

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In some cases, a character is written out because the actor decided to leave the show (or is let go for some reason) – think Charlie Harper on Two And a Half Men, or shows like The Flash, where 7 actors have left. But in other cases, the unplanned departure of a character is the result of the actor who plays them sadly passing away in real life. Oftentimes, the best way to handle this is to write a storyline whereby the character dies as well.

10 The Blacklist: Clark Middleton (Glen)

Glen was the eccentric man who worked for the DMV, giving him lots of access to personal information that Raymond found useful. Thus, he was also one of many on Raymond's payroll in The Blacklist, looking up the location or other information about someone Red was hunting down and desperate to find.

When the actor Clark Middleton passed away in real life from West Nile Virus, his death was written into the show, with Glen dying the same way. An entire episode was dedicated to Glen, including a memorial service for him. His mother Paula became a new recurring character in the series. Both Glen and Paula were among the best characters introduced to The Blacklist after season 1.

9 The Big Bang Theory: Carol Ann Susi (Mrs. Wolowitz)

Debbie Wolowitz, known to the friends on The Big Bang Theory as Mrs. Wolowitz, was Howard's mother who was never actually seen. But her loud, booming voice was often heard in many episodes throughout the series' run. She was usually yelling at Howard to do something like come rub her feet or being overprotective of her son from afar.

Sadly, after Carol Ann Susi, the actor who plays her, passed away, Mrs. Wolowitz's death was written into the show. She was supposedly visiting her sister in Florida when she passed away in her sleep. An episode was dedicated to the character's (and actor's) death, after which Howard and Bernadette moved into the house to raise their kids. Susi helped make Mrs. Wolowitz the most likable secondary character on The Big Bang Theory.

8 Will & Grace: Debbie Reynolds (Bobby Adler)

Debbie Reynolds, who sadly passed away just a week after her daughter Carrie Fisher, had a recurring role on this sitcom as Grace's mother Bobbi Adler.

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After the revival of Will & Grace, Reynolds' death was written into the story with Grace noting that her mother had passed away a while ago and hilariously noted that her dying wish was for Grace to get breast implants.

7 Glee: Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson)

In 2013, Monteith sadly passed away at the age of 31. Rather than write off the character saying he moved away, the high school-set musical series delayed its premiere and decided to write Monteith's death into the story for the character of Finn.

An entire episode called "The Quarterback" was dedicated to the memory of Finn, noting that the character had suddenly died. The show, however, did not discuss the cause of the character's death. Glee went on a short hiatus to allow the cast to grieve before returning to film the remaining episodes.

6 Riverdale: Luke Perry (Fred Andrews)

Luke Perry, who was best known for his role as Dylan McKay in the '90s sitcom Beverly Hills, 90210, had a main role on The CW series Riverdale, playing the father of Archie Andrews, Fred Andrews. He served as a solo parent while Archie's mom pursued her career in another state.

The death was handled in a touching manner that paid tribute to both of Perry's most notable roles. Perry's former 90210 castmates Shannon Doherty made a cameo appearance as a woman who Fred stopped to help on the side of the road, leading to his death by a hit and run. He remains one of several characters on Riverdale who left too soon.

5 8 Simple Rules: John Ritter (Paul Hennessy)

Following the sudden passing of John Ritter, 8 Simple Rules continued with Katey Sagal as the lead. Two months after his passing, a special one-hour episode aired as a tribute to the actor, called "Goodbye."

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Despite being a comedy, the series focused its storyline on how the family dealt with the death of their patriarch. New characters were added to the series, including James Garner, Suzanne Plashette, and David Spade for its remaining run, while Sagal took on a bigger role.

4 Sesame Street: Will Lee (Mr. Hooper)

Given that it's a children's show, it was a major step when Sesame Street decided to write the death of Mr. Hooper into an episode, using it as a lesson to teach kids about death. It would have been easier to write the elder character off saying he had moved to Florida or retired, but the learning opportunity was too great.

Kids were taught about death being a natural part of life and how to deal with their emotions and grief whenever they encounter the death of a loved one.

3 The West Wing: John Spencer (Leo McGarry)

Playing the former U.S. Secretary of Labor and White House Chief of Staff to Martin Sheen's President Josiah Bartlet, and eventually, Vice President-Elect, when actor John Spencer passed away, his character on The West Wing was also said to have died after collapsing in a hotel bathroom following a heart attack. The event happened right before he was officially named Vice President-Elect.

Despite not being a part of the show, in the end, Spencer's character still had a major role: his daughter presented President Bartlet with a gift: a napkin Spencer had written "Bartlet For America" on. The sentimental gift represented the start of Bartlet's presidential run.

2 NCIS: Los Angeles: Miguel Ferrer (Owen Granger)

Owen Granger was a major character on NCIS: Los Angeles, as the Assistant Director of NCIS for Special Operations. He was injured on the series, so following the death of actor Miguel Ferrer, the story was altered to note that he was in recovery, which would take longer than they had anticipated.

In the final scene of the episode, he is missing from his hospital bed. He supposedly pens a letter saying he decided to put his affairs in order and part ways with the department. Both Granger and Ferrer were dealing with cancer, and it is implied by the end of the eighth season that Granger, who was one of the most intelligent characters on NCIS: Los Angeles, had since died.

1 Family Guy: Adam West (Adam West)

In a Family Guy episode called "Adam West High," it is made known that the character had died around the same time the actor who played him died in real life. Actor Adam West voiced a fictional version of himself on the long-running animated sitcom, acting as Mayor of Quahog, one of the best recurring characters on Family Guy.

His final appearance was in the 17th season, and the role of Mayor of Quahog was filled by West's supposed cousin from a rural town, named Wild West.

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