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What these killed off Walking Dead actors look like today

No show has a body count quite like The Walking Dead. Like Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore's comics upon which it is based, the series has been absolutely ruthless about laying claim to the lives of its characters over the course of its run. Though there have been a few notable "gotcha" moments with some fan favorites inexplicably escaping certain doom, almost no one has been safe from extermination in this on-screen zombie apocalypse. Even the after show, Talking Dead, has to run a weekly "In Memoriam" segment honoring all of those who are lost because of how many slaughter sessions are contained in any given episode.

Even when they're axed in spectacularly gory fashion, though, a fallen star of The Walking Dead gets to walk away with a major feather in their cap for being on one of TV's most popular programs. Here's a look at what's happened to these killed-off Walking Dead actors since they departed the show.

Jon Bernthal - Shane Walsh

Love him or hate him, Jon Bernthal's Shane Walsh was a very big deal in The Walking Dead's earliest seasons. The former deputy to Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), he emerged as a leader for the survivors, including Rick's wife and son. He eventually became an antagonist for Rick once he emerged from his hospital bed alive and well and looking for answers to what happened during his coma.

Since the character's death (and second death) in season 2, Bernthal has reprised the character twice on-screen — both in hallucinations — but he's been much busier outside of the undead realm. Shortly after his departure from the show, he starred in Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street as Quaalude supplier Brad Bodnick. He also landed the leading role in Mob City, from original Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont, and continued to impress in cinematic action fare like Fury, Sicario, Baby Driver, and Widows. Apart from his Walking Dead role, though, Bernthal is perhaps best known for his turn as Frank Castle in Marvel's The Punisher for Netflix. Bernthal will also soon step into another iconic TV property by starring in David Chase's movie prequel to The Sopranos, The Many Saints of Newark.

Sarah Wayne Callies - Lori Grimes

Sarah Wayne Callies' Lori Grimes was another divisive but paramount part of The Walking Dead's initial run. Her decision to engage in a romantic relationship with Shane might have been made under the pretense that Rick hadn't survived the viral plague, but that didn't stop fans from being upset with her for sleeping with her husband's best friend. Even so, her death by emergency c-section early in season 3 was particularly brutal, especially when it was her own young son who had to prevent her from becoming zombified afterward.

Callies returned to The Walking Dead a few times after that — mostly as a ghostly mirage to showcase Rick's mental breakdown in the prison camp — but the actress has been keeping busy with other small screen fare. Though she was initially hesitant to take on another TV role after Walking Dead, she landed a leading role in USA Network's alien invasion series Colony, which lasted for three seasons. Soon after, she also reprised her most noteworthy pre-Dead role as Dr. Sara Tancredi for Fox's Prison Break revival. Callies has also been seen in a pair of TV mini-series titled The Long Road Home and Unspeakable, and she has been cast to star in NBC's adaptation of Bruce Feller's Council of Dads, which will feature her as yet another pregnant mother in an unthinkable situation.

Jeffrey DeMunn - Dale Horvath

While most of The Walking Dead's deathbound cast members get a call from the showrunners to let them know their characters are being killed off, it was Jeffrey DeMunn who did the dialing about Dale's fate. The actor had a long working relationship with Frank Darabont — who had previously cast him in The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Majestic, and The Mist — and said he was "furious" about how Darabont had been "pushed out of the show" after its inaugural season, so he quit.

It didn't take long for DeMunn to reconnect with Darabont. As the director explained, "Jeff has been in everything I've ever done, so I'm always looking for the Jeff DeMunn role." Indeed, DeMunn starred as police chief Hal Morrison in Darabont's short-lived noir series Mob City. He's branched out into other TV projects since then, as well. After enjoying guest roles on popular series like Chicago Fire, The Good Wife, The Affair, and The Blacklist, DeMunn became a regular on Showtime's Billions as the central character's father, Chuck Rhoades, Sr.

Laurie Holden - Andrea

Laurie Holden was also one of The Walking Dead's initial cast members who had a prior working relationship with Darabont on The Mist, but the death of Andrea wasn't as instantaneous as Dale's. In fact, she became a seminal factor in season 3's war with the Governor, until she faced an especially gnarly demise at the hands (er, teeth) of his reawakened henchman. However, the actress later revealed she had been expecting her character's journey to follow along with the comics and had an eight-year deal, so she was quite surprised to be taken out as early on in the series as she was.

Prior to The Walking Dead, Holden had also been known for her work in shows like The X-Files and The Shield, and she has continued to work in the medium ever since. Holden enjoyed a recurring role on FX's The Americans as Renee, the new wife of the series' central FBI agent who may or may not have been a Russian spy. Currently, she stars in Fox's newest legal drama Proven Innocent.

Michael Rooker - Merle Dixon

Unlike most of the earliest characters in The Walking Dead, Merle Dixon did not stem from Kirkman's comics and was instead an original creation of the show. What's even more interesting is that Michael Rooker almost didn't win the role. Not only did Norman Reedus himself impress when reading for it — which is what led to eventual fan-favorite Daryl Dixon being created, by the way — but one of the show's producers had a long-simmering grudge against Rooker and initially didn't want him to win the part. He eventually did, of course, and brought one of TV's most unsettling villains to life.

Rooker had never struggled to secure work before, but things really started to take off after The Walking Dead. In fact, he may even be better known for his work in the MCU as Guardians of the Galaxy's Yondu than as Merle. He's also since starred in films like The Belko Experiment and TV's True Detective.

David Morrissey - Philip "The Governor" Blake

As The Walking Dead's first major antagonist, the Governor brought a lot of shocking moments to the screen. From torturing Michonne (Danai Gurira) to his fish tanks filled with severed heads to his failed attempt at beheading Herschel (the late Scott Wilson), he ushered in a new era of villainy to the show. For David Morrissey, the experience of ending his wild run felt incomplete, and he's even talked about wanting to return to the role at some point. 

Since he left The Walking Dead, Morrissey has continued to impress on the small screen, starting with a regular role as Tobias Shepherd on the second season of Steven Spielberg's CBS sci-fi series Extant. Interestingly enough, that allowed him to work with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who would later become The Walking Dead's mega-villain Negan. He also enjoyed a recurring role on season 2 of The Missing and became General Aulus Plautius the Roman invader in Britannia. He'll next be seen in Amazon's apocalyptic comedy series Good Omens.

Chad L. Coleman - Tyreese Williams

Before he became the survivors' bulky big brother Tyreese Williams on The Walking Dead, Chad L. Coleman was already known for his performance as Dennis "Cutty" Wise on HBO's The Wire. Since his time on Dead came to a heartbreaking end — with Tyreese perishing from blood loss after being bitten and having his arm amputated — Coleman has continued to amass impressive TV credits.

In addition to enjoying recurring roles on shows like Freakish, Arrow, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Coleman joined the cast of The Expanse as Col. Frederick Lucius Johnson, who becomes known as "The Butcher of Anderson Station" for his ruthless attack on a group of insurgents. Coleman also enjoyed a guest role on The CW's football drama All American and recurs as the alien Klyden on The Orville — not that fans would recognize him as the latter, with all of the intense makeup and mask work that goes into the character's visage.

Lawrence Gilliard Jr. - Bob Stookey

Poor Bob. When the survivors sought refuge at Terminus, it was Bob who was made to pay for that mistake more than anyone else. He was forced to give a pound of flesh — several pounds, actually — to sate the hunger of the crazy cannibals who had tricked the group into their den of iniquity. Bob did ultimately get the better of his attackers, though, by surprising them with the news that he'd been infected with zombie venom, so that was fun. "Tainted meat!"

Actor Lawrence Gilliard Jr. returned to the show for a few key flashbacks but has otherwise moved on to new screen projects. In addition to guest roles in shows like The Good Wife and God Friended Me, Gilliard also earned a recurring role in USA Network's final season of Graceland. Most recently, Gilliard can be seen in The Deuce as NYPD officer Chris Alston.

Andrew J. West - Gareth

If you don't get a chill thinking back on Gareth's behavior in The Walking Dead's fourth and fifth seasons, you might be as inhumane as he was. Sure, he talked a big game about how his basic instinct for survival is what made him turn Terminus into a full-on mouse trap for meat, but there is no doubt the guy just enjoyed slaughtering and eating people for sport by the time the survivors wandered into his lair (again, poor Bob). Never has that red machete been wielded against such a deserving victim as Gareth.

Since his brutal on-screen execution, Andrew J. West has made some interesting career moves. First, he continued in the vein of villainy as Damon on Freeform's short-lived horror series Dead of Summer, but then he showed everyone that he could totally play the good guy by becoming the adult version of Henry Mills in ABC's final season of Once Upon a Time. West has also enjoyed guest roles on shows like Justified and Under the Dome, and has starred in several indie films as well.

Tovah Feldshuh - Deanna Monroe

As divisive as Deanna was for some fans of The Walking Dead, she eventually wisened up and ceded all her authority in Alexandria to Rick Grimes. So, in the end, she definitely did not deserve what was coming to her in season 6, and her death (and second death, after zombification) was pretty sad.

Things have been going just swimmingly for Tovah Feldshuh in real life, though. The actress — who had previously been known for her work on shows like As the World Turns and Law & Order — has since earned several recurring roles on new shows, including playing the President of the United States on CBS' Salvation, guest-starring as Rachel Bloom's mother The CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and voicing the feisty tavern owner Aunt Z on Star Wars Resistance. She's also continued her formidable stage career, performing a one-woman show called Aging Is Optional in 2015.

Steven Yeun - Glenn Rhee

There are two main reasons why the death of Glenn Rhee probably wasn't as hard for fans to take as it should've been. The first is that it happened almost exactly as it had in the comics — bulging eyeball and all — when Negan took a few swings at Glenn's head with Lucille. The second is that fans had already seen him die once on the show, basically, when he was swarmed by zombies and some deceptive staging made it look like his innards had become lunch to a bunch of ravenous zeds. So, tears had already been shed for him before the show pulled a "sike" move and revealed his inexplicable escape from that attack.

After his character was actually killed off in the premiere of season 7, Steven Yeun made some big moves to capitalize on his small screen fame. First, he appeared in a few movies including Okja, Sorry to Bother You, and the critically-acclaimed Korean film Burning. Then, he started lending his vocal talents to several animated properties, including Voltron and Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia. His TV cred is only going to increase, too, as he stars in an episode of Jordan Peele's reboot of The Twilight Zone, and will voice a character in the buzzworthy animated comedy Tuca & Bertie. He's also set to perform in another property based on the comics of Robert Kirkman, the animated superhero series Invincible. Glenn might've run out of luck on the show, but his real-life counterpart is doing just fine.

Michael Cudlitz - Abraham Ford

Like Glenn, Abraham and his epic mustache were both grossly mistreated by Negan's batting practice session at the beginning of season 7. And while those fans who had kept up with every set sleuthing report that came out during the show's summer hiatus may not have been surprised by this terrible takedown, everyone else probably was. Of course, if his fate had followed the comics, he would've been dead long before that episode, so it's a give and take.

Michael Cudlitz hasn't had any ill will for the show that made him such a meme sensation, though. In fact, he journeyed back to Alexandria to jump behind the lens and direct an episode for season 9, and signed on to do so again for season 10. The long-working actor has also had no trouble getting jobs that put him in front of the lens, including guest roles in House of Lies and Young Sheldon, and a regular role as the Cleary family patriarch in ABC's The Kids Are Alright.

Alexandra Breckenridge - Jessie Anderson

There's pretty much nothing worse than what happened to poor Jessie in The Walking Dead's sixth season. On top of having long suffered through an abusive marriage and serving as some kind of weird pick-me-up prop for Rick Grimes, she was eaten alive by walkers while experiencing the anguish of watching her son get devoured right in front of her, because The Walking Dead simply has no cap on cruelty.

Luckily, that's all fictional, and Alexandra Breckenridge is doing just fine. TV fans are most likely to recognize her from NBC's hit drama series This Is Us, which introduced her as Kevin Pearson's long-time love interest Sophie (who, unfortunately, also mostly exists just to give a troubled male character some growth potential). She also had the leading role in one of Lifetime's many holiday movies, regularly voices roles for Fox's Family Guy, and leads the cast of Netflix's upcoming drama series Virgin River. You won't find Breckenridge's name on any gossip magazines, though, as the actress famously lives far away from the mean streets of Hollywood, in rural Georgia.

Sonequa Martin-Green - Sasha Williams

Sasha's death should have been a massive surprise to fans of The Walking Dead. She was one of the most reasonable, reliable characters of all the Alexandrians, and had survived so much thanks to her unique sense of savvy. However, she decided to do her allies a solid by refusing to become a pawn in Negan's game, sacrificing herself so that she could ruin the big bad's plans by emerging in zombie form from the coffin he transported her in. It should have been a complete shock to see her come out like that, and yet, anyone who'd been paying attention to the news feeds probably already knew it was coming.

A few months before the episode aired, the news dropped that Sonequa Martin-Green had landed the leading role of Michael Burnham in CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery, which made her Walking Deadexit seem inevitable. Even so, it was still a bittersweet send-off for a character who'd become a crucial mainstay since joining the fold in season 3. In other news, Martin-Green's career shows no signs of slowing, as Discovery has been renewed for a third season and she's been tapped to star in the sequel to Space Jam.

Adrian Kali Turner - Duane Jones

Last but not least, let's pour one out for poor Duane Jones. The kiddo only appeared in the very first episode of The Walking Dead, but his presence was pivotal to establishing the mood of the series. The son of Morgan Jones, Duane was constantly tormented by the presence of his mother, who was slowly desiccating outside after being infected in the zombie apocalypse. It was a bittersweet reminder to Rick that his own son may be alive out there somewhere, and that it was his duty to protect him the way Morgan did. When Rick left their home, Duane was intact, but when Morgan returned for that epic episode "Clear," we learned that his mother eventually followed and bit the boy because Morgan never put her down.

Since the show, actor Adrian Kali Turner has continued to work in films and TV, with appearances in Bad Teacher, Arrested Development, and the pilot for Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. Turner has grown up quite a bit since his days on The Walking Dead, and even recently shared a photo of himself holding a little Duane doll for old time's sake.