Scott Wilson, an actor best known to contemporary audiences for playing Hershel on the earlier seasons of AMC’s The Walking Dead, has passed away at the age of 76. The actor’s representative confirmed the news to TMZ today, noting that Wilson passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles following complications due to leukemia.

Speaking with TMZ, Wilson’s representative, Dominic Mancini, described the actor as “a national treasure, a calm voice, and a gentle spirit to everyone who came in contact with him.” Wilson’s career began in the ’60s with a role in the acclaimed film In the Heat of the Night, but modern audiences know him best for his role as Hershel Greene on AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead.

Although Wilson exited the series three years into its run in 2014, current showrunner Angela Kang told fans at NYCC this weekend that the actor was slated to return to The Walking Dead for its upcoming ninth season — which premieres tonight on AMC. Wilson’s departure followed the tragic death of Hershel, a beloved fan-favorite character.

Wilson had over 50 film credits to his name, including parts in classics such as In Cold Blood and more contemporary titles like Dead Man Walking and Pearl Harbor. In addition to The Walking Dead, Wilson had recurring roles in numerous TV shows, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Bosch. More recently, he played Abel Johnson — father to Brit Marling’s character — in the first season of Netflix’s The OA.

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