In Memoriam – Most Unforgettable TV Deaths
Watch a television show regularly enough and you’d bawl if one of the characters head to kingdom come. You may even grieve more for the dead onscreen than the ones on earth.
Rest in peace to the following fictional people:
Adriana La Cerva, The Sopranos
Few could stomach the death of Adriana in The Sopranos. She betrayed her husband Christopher’s role in the titular crime family to the FBI. To her credit Adriana remained loyal to her hubby and only vaguely answered the FBI’s inquiries. Alas, these were not enough to pacify Christopher. He directed Silvio to take her to the forest, where she was promptly silenced.
Anastasia Dualla, Battlestar Galactica
Just as she had seemingly patched things up with ex-husband Apollo, Dee faced the mirror, smiled, and put a gun to her head.
But while the scene was moving, it did not really dovetail with the character’s evolution on the show.
Bill McNeal, NewsRadio
Phil Hartman, the actor portraying Bill McNeal, died in real life just as NewsRadio was entering its fifth season. The show could have gone ahead with a replacement but the writers went for the higher ground. In season five’s first episode, the other characters were made to get wind of Bill’s death. Tears were shed and viewers knew fully well they were beyond fictional.
Charlie Pace, Lost
Watching Lost would as soon make you cloyed with the spectacle of death. Characters, major and minor, seem to die in every episode. Of these deaths however, Charlie’s takes the cake. His drowning in the Looking Glass Station remains a tear-jerking piece of entertainment for innumerable Lost fans.
Dan Connor, Roseanne
Roseanne’s husband Dan lived through a heart attack to enjoy a life-changing lottery win. But in the series finale Roseanne revealed all the previous episodes to be the plot of a book she had been writing. Her husband did not survive that heart attack. Everything had been fiction.
Joyce Summers, Buffy The Vampire Slayer
She is unique in the Buffyverse for dying of normal causes. Being mother to a vampire killer opened Joyce up to exotic scenarios of death but no, she had to perish due to aneurysm. Fans will never forget that shot of Joyce, motionless, facing the camera dead-on.
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Blake, MASH
MASH is one of those few programs capable of balancing lighthearted and sullen moments. But one of the show’s most popular episodes is also one of its gloomiest. It showed Radar informing the other soldiers that Blake rode a plane shot down near Japan. The actors’ emotions upon hearing the news looked genuine because the screenwriters famously deliberately handed the script at the last minute.
Maude Flanders, The Simpsons
Because her voice talent Maggie Roswell dropped out of the show, Maude became a casualty in The Simpsons universe. She went out in true Simpsons style: T-shirt guns toppled her off the Springfield Springway. Her parting words? “No foot-longs.”
Omar Little, The Wire
Omar, a stickup dude, miffed big-time drug linchpins and the most dangerous men in a Baltimore ghetto. By season five, it was clear he was on borrowed time. Yet it took all of a little boy to shoot him dead.
Rita Morgan, Dexter
Rita’s exit from this show came as a great surprise to Dexter’s audience. In the season four finale, Dexter happened upon Rita swimming in her own blood in a tub.
Susan Ross, Seinfeld
True to form, Susan died of ridiculous circumstances in this show: poisoning by wedding envelopes. This death freed George Costanza from living a lie with a woman he really did not love.
Teri Bauer, 24
This one smarts because she had just been rescued from captivity and looked set to reconcile with Jack. Then Jack’s other woman spoiled everything by gunning Teri down, straight through her pregnant belly.