“Before we say good night, I just have to say we lost an icon this week. Stan Lee, just one of the sweetest, most wonderful people, who has affected billions of people with the things that he’s created,” Hardwick said in the closing moments of Sunday’s live Walking Dead aftershow.
“His stories will continue to bring joy to so many generations. He was a visionary and just a lovely man, without whom pop culture and comic book landscapes would be nothing like they are today. So our thoughts are with his family and all the fans he left behind, he will be deeply missed. And I personally adored him. He was lovely. Stan, I will miss you.”
Lee’s death also inspired tributes from The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Khary Payton, who took to social media to remember the late Spider-Man and Avengers co-creator.
“He made me believe I could be a superhero [and] he was right,” wrote King Ezekiel star Payton, who voices DC Comics superhero Cyborg in the animated Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.
Negan star Morgan noted the world “lost some magic” upon Lee’s death, while Daryl Dixon star Reedus shared a photo of himself with the “legend” comic book creator.
Armie Hammer, who once nearly portrayed Batman in a never-made Justice League movie, was later criticized by Morgan for an insensitive tweet the Call Me by Your Name star published on social media: “So touched by all of the celebrities posting pictures of themselves with Stan Lee... no better way to commemorate an absolute legend than putting up a picture of yourself,” Hammer tweeted.
Replying to the tweet, Morgan wrote, “Looks like you found a way to use others’ ways of mourning and their memories to draw some attention to yourself. You sound like a real asshat.”0comments
Hammer has since apologized, thanking Morgan in his apology tweet.
Talking Dead will immediately follow The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale Sunday, Nov. 25 with guests Ross Marquand and Robert Kirkman.