The Last of Us: Neil Druckmann Remembers Annie Wersching as a "Beautiful Artist and Human Being"

The Last of Us co-creator Neil Druckmann is mourning the loss of actress Annie Wersching, who died Sunday at age 45. Wersching — whose roles included television's 24BoschTimeless, Marvel's Runaways and Stark Trek: Picard — voiced and performed the motion capture for Tess in The Last of Us video game for PlayStation, which Druckmann also wrote and co-directed. Wersching was diagnosed with cancer in 2020 and privately battled the disease, according to an announcement on her Facebook page. Druckmann also shared a GoFundMe campaign supporting her family: her husband, actor Stephen Full, and their children, Eddie, Ozzie, and Archie, aged 12, 9, and 4. 

"Just found out my dear friend, Annie Wersching, passed away. We just lost a beautiful artist and human being," Druckmann tweeted Sunday. "My heart is shattered. Thoughts are with her loved ones."

In a subsequent tweet, Druckmann shared behind-the-scenes images of Wersching's role as smuggling survivor Tess in the 2013 Naughty Dog video game, which was adapted into a TV series for HBO. Anna Torv plays the character on television. 

"I miss my silly friend who helped bring Tess to life. Annie, you left us way too soon," Druckmann wrote. "You will forever be part of the TLoU & Naughty Dog family! TLoU fans… let's show what we're made of. Please consider donating to her kids' gofundme."

Wersching's The Last of Us co-star Troy Baker, who voiced and performed the motion capture for Tess' partner Joel Miller, also paid tribute on Twitter. Sharing photos of their TLoU cast mates, Baker wrote: "Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you are grateful for the simple gift of knowing them. Annie, so much of Tess is what you imbued into the character. Your strength is her strength and in some way, you live on in not only her but the many roles you brought to life."

At the time of writing, Wersching's GoFundMe has raised more than $120,000 of a $250,000 goal.