Scott Wilson, the veteran actor who starred as Hershel Greene over three seasons of The Walking Dead, has died at the age of 76 following a battle with cancer.
The Walking Dead‘s Twitter announced Wilson’s death Saturday, just hours after the AMC zombie series’ New York Comic Con panel revealed that Wilson would reprise his Hershel role for its upcoming Season 9.
“We are deeply saddened to report that Scott Wilson, the incredible actor who played Hershel on #TheWalkingDead, has passed away at the age of 76,” The Walking Dead tweeted. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in paradise, Scott. We love you!”
AMC added in a statement (via Variety), “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.”
Over an acting career that spanned over 50 years and amassed over 80 credits, some of Wilson’s most notable film roles include his turn as Richard Hickock in the 1967 adaptation of In Cold Blood, a murder suspect in In the Heat of the Night, pilot Scott Crossfield in The Right Stuff and as the man who murders Jay Gatsby in the Robert Redford-starring version of The Great Gatsby.
However, Wilson will best be remembered for portraying religious and widowed farm owner Hershel Greene on The Walking Dead, a role he played from 2011 to 2014 before the character was killed off. With Walking Dead stars Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan (who played Hershel’s daughter Maggie) set to leave the series during Season 9, Wilson reprised the Hershel role to film flashbacks for the upcoming season; Variety reports that Wilson filmed his parts prior to his death.