The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang on Friday paid tribute to late Hershel Greene star Scott Wilson on what would have been his 77th birthday. Kang remembered Wilson with an Instagram post, sharing fan art and writing “Happy birthday in heaven, dear friend.”
Kang in October was first to announce Wilson had reprised his role as Hershel in the then-upcoming Season Nine, revealing his return at New York Comic Con shortly before it was learned Wilson had passed away from leukemia. “The crowd went nuts, they were so excited, and we came off stage and almost immediately found out ... that Scott had sadly passed away,” host Chris Hardwick recalled in an October episode of Talking Dead when memorializing Wilson.
Longtime Walking Dead writer-producer Kang, who boarded the zombie drama in its second season — the same season Wilson’s Hershel made his debut — was among those in attendance at a memorial service that reunited past and present Walking Dead stars, including Jon Bernthal, Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Lennie James, Laurie Holden, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jeryl Prescott Sales, IronE Singleton, and Emily Kinney, as well as producers Scott Gimple, Denise Huth, and Greg Nicotero.
Wilson returned for a cameo appearance in the sendoff episode for exiting Rick Grimes star Andrew Lincoln, revisiting the series alongside the similarly killed-off Shane (Bernthal) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) as hallucinations experienced by a gravely wounded Rick. The star was so tied to the character Hershel’s iconic speech — “You step outside, you risk your life” — was included in Wilson’s memorial event program.
“That Scott Wilson moment was one I had a lot of involvement with in terms of getting him there and filming and everything,” episode 905 director Nicotero previously told Express when confirming Wilson his able to view his last appearance. Nicotero reported Wilson was “so grateful” for the opportunity to revisit Hershel.
“He had tears in his eyes when he watched it and he was so proud,” Nicotero said.
“Scott was such a dear friend of mine. I can’t tell you how happy I am that we were able to get him back for the show and how happy I am personally that I was able to show him that scene and he was able to enjoy the magic he was able to create.”
The Walking Dead premieres its Season Nine finale Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.
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