Actors Who Asked For Their Characters To Be Killed Off


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Sometimes they were asking for entire seasons before the character’s demise.



Mischa Barton as Marissa on The O.C.

WB / Courtesy Everett Collection

Barton decided to leave the show and was given two options: for her character to sail off into the sunset or to be killed off. She chose the latter, calling Marissa’s death in a car accident a “great ending” and “memorable.”


Paul Wesley as Stefan on The Vampire Diaries

Bob Mahoney / The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

As the show was coming to an end, both Wesley and Ian Somerhalder (who played Damon) asked for their characters to die — however, only Wesley got his wish. His character died near the end of the series finale after sacrificing himself to stop Katherine.


Chyler Leigh as Lexie on Grey’s Anatomy

Scott Garfield / ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Leigh decided to leave the show and came to the mutual decision with show creator Shonda Rhimes to kill off her character. Lexie died in the plane crash at the end of Season 8.


Monica Keena as Abby on Dawson’s Creek

Columbia TriStar Television / Courtesy Everett Collection

Keena reportedly asked for her character, Abby, to be killed off because she wanted to pursue other projects. Abby died after falling back into icy water and drowning while drinking with Jen in Season 2 of the teen drama.


Emma Caulfield as Anya on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Caulfield asked for Anya to be killed off in case the show didn’t end, calling it “poetic” that Anya would die “sacrificing herself for people she could never understand.” Anya died in the series finale while the gang fought the First.


Josh Bowman as Daniel on Revenge

Colleen Hayes / ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Bowman had actually started asking for Daniel to be killed off in Season 3, telling TV Guide his character had flip-flopped the most and it was hard for him to play. Daniel ended up being killed in Season 4 while saving Emily.


Dean Norris as Hank on Breaking Bad

Ursula Coyote / AMC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Norris called the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, and suggested that his character, Hank, die in the first half of the last season. This was because he had a pilot he wanted to film — however, Gilligan denied his request, and Hank didn’t die until Episode 14 of the season, when he was shot even though Walt begged for his life.


Kevin Alejandro as Dan on Lucifer

Fox / courtesy Everett Collection

In a conversation with showrunners, Alejandro suggested that it might be interesting if his character, Dan, died, as the audience was just starting to like and understand the character: “I think it might be impactful if you took that [relationship] away and ended him, and see how that affected the world around him.” His character was murdered by a hit man in Season 5.


Ashley Madekwe as Ashley on Revenge

Randy Holmes / ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Madekwe left the show after her option was not picked up because of “storyline reasons” — after the news was revealed, she tweeted that she wanted her character to die in a “blaze of glory” while wearing couture. However, her character didn’t die on the show and was instead banished to her hometown.


Jessalyn Gilsig as Siggy on Vikings

Jonathan Hession / History Channel / Courtesy Everett Collection


Eric Balfour as Milo on 24

Kelsey McNeal / Fox Broadcasting Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Balfour asked to be killed off after getting cast in a pilot, saying he felt he needed a change from 24. His character died after being shot in the head by terrorists while protecting Nadia.


Aidan Turner as Mitchell on Being Human

Alexandra Thompson / BBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Turner chose to leave the show to star in The Hobbit — creator Toby Whithouse told Entertainment Weekly, “It was really Aidan who pushed for Mitchell to be killed, because he thought that was the appropriate ending for the character.” His character, Mitchell, a vampire, was staked in a mercy killing by his friend George.


Troian Bellisario as Spencer on Pretty Little Liars

Adam Taylor / ABC Family / Courtesy Everett Collection

Bellisario told W that she tried to get killed off because she felt that characters on the show became more interesting after they died. She also felt it would hammer home the true level of danger if one of the Liars died. However, her character, Spencer, survived all the way until the end.


Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle on Game of Thrones


Glover asked to be killed off the show after he felt “dismissed as a character” and felt he wasn’t having fun. He called Pycelle’s death scene, in which he was stabbed to death by Varys’s Little Birds, “a damn good scene” and “exactly the sort of way I wanted to go out.”


Daniel Gillies as Joel on Saving Hope

Rafy / NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Gillies asked to be killed off at the start of Season 3 of the medical drama because he was “exhausted” from filming both Saving Hope and The Originals concurrently, especially considering his growing family. His character, Joel, ended up dying while saving a patient from a bomb in the season finale.


Tom Payne as Jesus on The Walking Dead


Payne complained that not enough characters were being killed in the fight with the Saviors, and even offered up himself to get killed — and the writers took him up on it. His character, Jesus, was killed by a Walker.


And finally, Frank Dillane as Nick on Fear the Walking Dead


Dillane asked to be killed off the show so he could star in other projects — he had actually wanted to leave since Season 3. His character, Nick, died after being shot in Season 4.

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