By Tom Comi
If we’ve learned one thing from the severed relationship between Charlie Sheen and his hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, it’s that you definitely don’t want to get on producer Chuck Lorre’s bad side. Sheen made that mistake, and not only was he fired but his character Charlie Harper will now reportedly die in a tragic car accident.
For those keeping score at home: Lorre 2, Sheen 0
Although Harper’s death won’t be a shock to anybody, it does ensure that he can’t return to the show down the road and sets the stage for Ashton Kutcher to enter as Sheen’s replacement. It did, however, make us remember some vivid deaths over the years on some of our favorite shows. Here are five that made me reach for a tissue:
Henry Blake, M*A*S*H (1975): This will always be the benchmark for all TV deaths, perhaps because it was such a shock. Colonel Blake (played by McLean Stevenson) was on his way home after leading the 4077 in the Korean War in what appeared to be a happy moment. That was shattered, though, when Radar O’Reilly (Gary Burghoff) entered the ER and informed everybody that Blake was killed in an airplane crash. Like his colleagues, we were absolutely stunned and devastated.
Adriena La Cerva, The Sopranos (2006): People getting whacked on this show was hardly out of the ordinary, but it threw all of us for a loop when Adriena (Drea de Matteo) was driven to the woods by Silvio Dante (Steven Van Zandt) and assassinated. Rumors were out there that de Matteo was leaving the show, but why did it have to end this way? So sad.
Shane Vendrell, The Shield (2008): Cops die in the line of duty far too often, but that was not the way Walter Goggins’ character went out on this cutting-edge police drama. Fearing that a colleague was going to testify against him for stealing, he shot his pregant wife, their 2-year-old son and himself.
Teri Bauer, 24 (2002): One thing we learned over the years about watching 24 was never to get too attached to the main characters (President David Palmer ring a bell?). However, we weren’t quite prepared for that reality yet in the first season when the pregnant wife of agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was shot in the stomach by fellow agent Nina Myers. She died in Jack’s arms in a moment many of us will never forget.
Bobby Simone, NYPD Blue (1998): Sometimes the long, drawn-out deaths can be the most painful to watch, and that was certainly the case here. Jimmy Smits delivered the performance of a lifetime when portraying the tough, New York detective whose body rejected a heart transplant. We were at his bedside with his colleagues from the 15th precinct, and we felt every bit of their pain along with our own.
So what are some of the most memorable deaths you remember on TV? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to chime in with the eternal exits that brought you to shock, tears or a combination of the two.
Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX