It's a bittersweet day for the cast, crew and creatives of The Walking Dead.
The show's ninth season premiere, which promises to usher in an all-new era for the Alexandrian survivors, begins Sunday, but its family is in mourning for the loss of actor Scott Wilson. He portrayed the beloved farmer and veterinarian Hershel Greene in the series and passed away at the age of 76 after a battle with leukemia.
"Scott Wilson left the world as he lived in it - on his terms and exactly as he wanted to," the actress wrote. "Before he passed he made sure his wife was taken care of, saw dear friends and made them laugh, and initiated blood drives so that others with his condition would have what they need. Then he did something that may be a first: he left the party before it was over. Scott is among the finest humans I have known, as artists or as men. I celebrate you with a broken heart, beloved friend."
Emily Kinney, who portrayed his songbird daughter Beth Greene in the series, also celebrated "the best TV dad a girl could ask for."
Lauren Cohan, who plays his other daughter Maggie, simply shared a photo of the two of them wrapped in a big hug.
Meanwhile, producer Gale Anne Hurd also exalted the actor, writing in an emotional post, "Scott was one of the greats, both as an actor and a man. We in The Walking Dead family are truly grief stricken. He lived life to the fullest with his true love, his wife Heavenly. He is now a shining star in heaven spreading kindness and light forever."
Scott was one of the greats, both as an actor and a man. We in #TheWalkingDeadFamily are truly grief stricken. He lived life to the fullest with his true love, his wife Heavenly. He is now a shining star in heaven spreading kindness and light forever. #RIP #ScottWilson https://t.co/aba9IzvUAB— Gale Anne Hurd (@GunnerGale) October 7, 2018
As the day continued towards the show's newest season, Wilson's fellow Walking Dead alums continued to take to social media to pay their respects.
Today we lost one of the finest human beings myself and so many others have ever known. Scott Wilson was pure love, kindness, elegance & grace. He had the ability to make me smile on the darkest of days. He was pure LOVE. I will miss him for the rest of my life. #RIPScottWilson pic.twitter.com/21ktM5WeCW— Laurie Holden (@Laurie_Holden) October 7, 2018
Devastated by the passing of Scott Wilson. He was a true Gentleman, a Son, a Husband, a Father, a Friend. An Artist of such excellence. He was forever Young, and made everything better. My deepest Respect and Condolences to his. I am honored to have know him. He taught me so much pic.twitter.com/Yt8ZmC1c45— lew temple (@LewTempleActor) October 7, 2018
AMC placed a tribute to Wilson the closing credits of the premiere.
And Talking Dead paid tribute while explaining why Wilson wasn't acknowledged during the show.
Tonight's episode of #TalkingDead and the Season 9 #TWD pre-show were recorded at an earlier date, before the unfortunate passing of Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene on #TWD). Our hearts go out to Scott's family, friends, cast-mates, and fans. pic.twitter.com/KOB3HlWCs8— Talking Dead (@AMCTalkingDead) October 8, 2018
Wilson might have departed the show after the show's fourth season saw his character taken down in particularly grisly fashion by the Governor (David Morrissey), but clearly, Wilson left an indelible mark on everyone he worked with.
Heartbroken hearing the news about my friend Scott Wilson . A great man and true friend. Aa well as a fabulous actor. RIP buddy.— David Morrissey (@davemorrissey64) October 7, 2018
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.