Showrunner Angela Kang and fans paid tribute Tuesday to The Walking Dead star Scott Wilson on what would have been his 80th birthday. Wilson died from leukemia in October 2018 at the age of 76, one day before the ninth season premiere of The Walking Dead, which was dedicated in his memory. In what would be Wilson's final appearance, the actor reprised his fan-favorite role as Hershel Greene in a Season 9 episode opposite Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes. Wilson played Hershel as a series regular across 33 episodes and three seasons of the AMC zombie drama between 2011 and 2014.
"Happy heavenly birthday to Scott Wilson. You were a father figure, brother, friend, and class clown for the #TWDfamily," Kang wrote in a tribute posted to Instagram, sharing an image from Wilson's final appearance as Hershel. "Love you always and forever." Kang's profile picture has long been a photo of the Walking Dead showrunner and executive producer hugging Wilson.
AMC Networks aired a tribute to Wilson after Season 9 premiered with "A New Beginning" on October 7, 2018. In a statement, AMC said of Wilson, "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 character's choices to this day. Our hearts go out to his wife, his family, friends and to the millions of fans who loved him. Scott will be missed."
Wilson's Hershel appears one last time when a gravely injured Rick hallucinates a peaceful goodbye to his old friend and mentor, who was killed in Season 4.
"Scott did see the scene ... I showed him the scene and he was so grateful," Greg Nicotero, who directed Wilson's final episode of The Walking Dead, told Express in 2018. "He had tears in his eyes when he watched it and he was so proud."
Wilson is survived by his wife, Heavenly Koh Wilson. Along with his role on The Walking Dead, Wilson had recurring roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The OA. In film, Wilson is known for credits In the Heat of the Night, In Cold Blood, and his Golden Globe-nominated role as Capt. Billy Cutshaw in The Ninth Configuration.
See more tributes to Wilson below.
Celebrating the life and legacy of the late Scott Wilson today on his birthday.March 29, 2022
On his birthday, we'd like to remember the late Scott Wilson, famously known for his role as Hershel on THE WALKING DEAD. Wilson also acted in THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE X-FILES, THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, THE EXORCIST III, and BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON. pic.twitter.com/foARLxiSsk— FANGORIA (@FANGORIA) March 29, 2022
Today would have been Scott Wilson’s 80th BDay. Let’s take this time to remember this beautiful soul who once upon a time gave us Hershel. May you be dancing under a beautiful loving light 🤍🌸 @wwwbigbaldhead #scottwilson #hershel #bigbaldhead #normanreedus pic.twitter.com/DobaCLZxkk— Norman Reedus , Jeffrey and Carol are Poetry🥰💖 (@lauraraw) March 29, 2022
today would be scott wilson’s birthday. thank you for having given us one of our most appreciated characters in the walking dead, hershel will always be remembered and a special member <3 pic.twitter.com/Jc4o2sC9oC— bella RICK GRIMES IS BACK (@RICH0NNE) March 29, 2022
👉 SCOTT WILSON was #BOTD in 1942.
📌 He worked in great films like IN COLD BLOOD, THE NEW CENTURIONS, ROK SPOKOJNEGO SLONCA, DEAD MAN WALKING, BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, among many others.March 29, 2022
Today we celebrate the birthday of American actor Scott Wilson, born today in 1942. He had more than 50 film credits, being best known his role in William Peter Blatty's The Ninth Configuration and veterinarian Hershel Greene on the AMC series The Walking Dead. #ScottWilson pic.twitter.com/3KN13rXuTC— Vault0 (@vault0overseer) March 29, 2022