“On the day of the 10th anniversary premiere of The Walking Dead, I am thinking of Scott Wilson, who died a year ago on this date,” reads a handwritten note penned by Kang and published to her Instagram.
“To express everything I’m feeling, I’d have to write a book, but I’m on a deadline, so I’ll give you the hotel notepad version. For 9 years, I’ve worked on a show with ‘dead’ in the title, but it is & always has been about life & love & family. My own life is richer for having known Scott Wilson, who I loved like family,” the note continues. “It’s richer for working with all the amazing creative folks in the still-growing TWD Family. And to all the fans around the world who have gotten us this far, thank you for welcoming The Little Zombie Show That Could into your homes & hearts. You’re our family too. Scott, this one is for you. XOXO Angela.”
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Wilson died last Oct. 6 from leukemia, just one day before The Walking Dead returned with its Season 9 premiere. That season would feature Wilson in his last appearance as Hershel, who returned in episode 905, “What Comes After,” as part of a hallucination imagined by a gravely wounded Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).
News of Wilson’s death came shortly after Kang announced the star’s cameo role at New York Comic Con.
“Hershel was a figure that had so much heart, that was like a father figure to Rick in so many ways; was beloved by everybody,” Kang later told EW of Wilson’s final episode, where Hershel was one of three characters to appear to Rick, along with Shane (Jon Bernthal) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green). “There’s so much grief surrounding that family, so much that they’ve been through. And there’s a kind of quiet strength in that family, and I think that felt really right for Rick. Rick goes someplace that he imagines is like heaven, if he could just stop and rest there. But of course, the message from Hershel is no, you still have to keep going.”
Episode director Greg Nicotero earlier reported Wilson was “so grateful” to revisit Hershel.0comments
“He had tears in his eyes when he watched it and he was so proud,” Nicotero told Express. “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.”