It turns out that Jeffrey DeMunn had enough of The Walking Dead long before it was cool to have had enough of The Walking Dead! The way he tells it, he opted to be bit by zombies and violently killed off on the show in order to permanently leave the series after AMC unexpectedly fired the original showrunner, Frank Darabont, while the second season of the show was in production.
The actor, who briefly played the likable Dale Horvath, recently told Cleveland.com that he was so upset with the network’s decision to drop Darabont that he ultimately decided it would be best to ask to be put out of his misery:
“Dale’s death was my decision. I was furious about how Frank was pushed out of the show. I spent a week not being able to take a full breath. And then I realized, ‘Oh, I can quit.’ So I called them and said, ‘It’s a zombie show. Kill me. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ It was an immense relief to me.”
Dale Horvath does die in The Walking Dead comic book series; but his death occurs significantly later than it does on the show, and the moment marked one of the early major deviations between the television series and its source material.
Ironically, DeMunn’s revelation comes at a time where The Walking Dead‘s ratings are lower than they’ve been since Season One, so- while DeMunn missed out on the ratings bonanza of the middle seasons of the series- he may have lucked out by exiting the show before the meteoric rise and eventual ratings drop attributed to Negan and company.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more breaking news on The Walking Dead as soon as it drops!