17 Actors Who Demanded That Their Beloved Characters Be Taken Out Of The Show
Having one of your favorite characters wiped out from your go-to show isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. When watching a TV series, we sometimes feel like we’ve built a special connection with a character and even wonder if the actor who played them is also mourning their fictional loss.
But this isn’t always the case. Whether it be because they've decided to take care of personal issues or they’ve been offered an attractive, challenging role, it’s not uncommon for actors to approach screenwriters to have their characters killed off.
Here’s a list of beloved characters whose perpetrator happened to be the performer who initially brought them to life. (Warning: spoilers ahead!)
Emma Caulfield As Anya On Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Given Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s success, Emma Caulfield feared that the show wouldn’t come to an end as soon as she expected.
“I asked Joss to kill Anya. It was a pretty sure thing that we weren’t going to go past season 7, but there was an opportunity that we could. During that period, I let them know I was ready to move on to something else, whatever that may be,” the actress explained.
Director Joss Whedon made Anya Jenkins sacrifice herself during an epic battle against the First Evil, a death Caulfield referred to as “poetic.”
Aidan Turner As Mitchell On Being Human
The Irish actor chose to say goodbye to his vampire character in Being Human because he was to star as Kíli in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.
“It was really Aidan who pushed for Mitchell to be killed because he thought that was the appropriate ending for the character,” creator Toby Whithouse said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
In a merciful act, John Mitchell is stabbed with a dagger by his friend George, who tells him, “I’m only doing this because I love you.”
Dean Norris As Hank On Breaking Bad
How can we forget about the mid-season finale of Hank’s realization? While that iconic Breaking Bad scene might be hard to top, the one of his demise in the desert has earned a clear spot on the list of top-five moments from the popular AMC crime show.
Few fans know that Dean Norris, the actor behind the fearless DEA agent, asked creator Vince Gilligan to have his character killed in the first half of the last season.
“I called Vince Gilligan and said, ‘Hey man, maybe Hank should die in the first eight. Wouldn’t that be a great ending?’” Norris said during a 2013 interview on set.
Since the actor had a pilot to film, he wished to prioritize his new project. Gilligan denied his request and made him wait until episode 14 of the season.
Norris reprised his role during season five of Breaking Bad’s spinoff, Better Call Saul. When one of the characters is arrested, Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman) negotiates with Schrader to make him a DEA informant.
Chyler Leigh As Lexie On Grey's Anatomy
The actress departed from her role as Lexie, the younger half-sister of Meredith, at the end of season 8 after sitting down with creator Shonda Rhimes. Grey’s Anatomy fans saw Lexie’s demise in a plane crash and were later able to catch her on shows like Supergirl and The Way Home.
Leigh, who departed from the medical drama series to spend more time with her family, returned to Grey’s as a special guest in season 17.
Julian Glover As Grand Maester Pycelle On Game Of Thrones
Interestingly, Glover referred to his last scene on the hit HBO fantasy show as “a damn good scene” and “exactly the sort of way I wanted to go out.”
The actor behind the Grand Maester of the Citadel exited the series because he was dissatisfied with his role and was no longer enjoying himself.
Monica Keena As Abby On Dawson's Creek
Thanks to its catchy theme song and unpretentious script depicting the highs and lows of adolescence, Dawson’s Creek quickly became one of people’s favorite teen drama shows.
If you’ve seen the series, you may remember Abby Morgan, the mean girl who got Jen into partying and drinking alcohol again. Oh, and she also spied on people using binoculars and threatened teachers in the cafeteria.
Monica Keena, the actress who played the teen outcast, left the show in season 2 to star in Judd Apatow's comedy series Undeclared.
In a dramatic scene that left fans feeling puzzled, a drunken Abby hits her head on a post, falls into icy water, and drowns after saying, “I don’t think I’ll ever be happy.”
Kevin Alejandro As Dan On Lucifer
From corrupt cop to improvisational comedian, fans of Lucifer saw quite a metamorphosis regarding Detective Dan Espinoza. Most likely ignore that it was Alejandro’s idea to have his character murdered in the fifth season, just when the audience was starting to feel sympathy towards him.
Tom Payne As Jesus On The Walking Dead
Zombie series enthusiasts know that nobody is safe during the apocalypse, not even main characters. Jesus’ death came after Payne pointed out that not many characters were dying during fights with the Saviors. Of course, the English actor volunteered for Jesus to be murdered.
Payne’s character appeared in flashback form during season 9 of the AMC series.
Jessalyn Gilsig As Siggy On Vikings
As opposed to many of her colleagues, Gilsig’s main reason for leaving the History Channel drama was to focus on family-related issues. Siggy Haraldson’s death came in season 3 while trying to save Ragnar’s sons from falling into a frozen pond.
Frank Dillane As Nick On Fear The Walking Dead
Dillane wanted to leave the show to pursue other projects from season 3. However, Fear The Walking Dead’s director didn’t grant him his wish until the following season. Viewers saw Nick Clark for the last time during an episode titled “Good Out Here.”
On the sister show of The Walking Dead, Nick dies after being shot by Charlie, a young girl who was a spy for the Vultures.
Writer and producer Andrew Chambliss didn’t want to give the character a common death. “One of the first things we were tasked with when we came on to run season 4 was to really find a story that would give Nick a fitting sendoff,” he shared.
Daniel Gillies As Joel On Saving Hope
Given that Gillies was “exhausted” from simultaneously filming Saving Hope and The Originals, he asked to be killed off the former show at the start of season 3. Dr. Joel Goran died while saving a patient from a bomb.
Paul Wesley As Stefan On The Vampire Diaries
While both male stars of The Vampire Diaries asked for their characters to be killed off, it was Wesley the producers listened to. To the dismay of his fans, Stefan died in season 8 while trying to stop Katherine Pierce.
Wesley made a brief comeback on The Originals, a spinoff of the original vampire series, in an episode titled “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Eric Balfour As Milo On 24
The action-thriller series said farewell to computer technician Milo Pressman in the show’s sixth season, following Balfour’s request. Milo was murdered by Chinese terrorists while trying to protect his love interest, Nadia.
Mischa Barton As Marissa On The O.c
Barton explained that she wanted to exit the show because of “general bullying” from some of her male co-stars. When she was asked whether she wished for Marissa to “sail off into the sunset” or be killed off in the season three finale, she knew which option to pick.
“I just felt that it was the best thing for me and my health and just in terms of not really feeling protected by my cast and crew at that point,” she said of her decision.
Josh Bowman As Daniel On Revenge
Daniel Greyson passed away in the soap drama when he sacrificed his life to save Emily Thorne. Bowman had been trying to leave the soap drama since season 3, arguing that his character had “flip-flopped.”
Ashley Madekwe As Ashley On Revenge
Madekwe wished for her character to die in a “blaze of glory” while wearing a Chanel or Valentino haute couture piece. However, the producers of Revenge had other plans for Ashley Davenport and made her leave the Hamptons instead.
Troian Bellisario As Spencer On Pretty Little Liars
Mysterious villain “A” attempted to murder Spencer on several occasions throughout the teen dramas’ seven seasons. Troian Bellisario isn’t that glad she failed.
In an interview with W magazine, the actress confessed that she wanted Spencer to get killed off because “on our show, your character becomes infinitely more interesting when you die.”