Actors Talk About Carrying On After Losing A Co-Star

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Vote up the most emotional stories.

Perhaps the oldest and most cliche saying in the entertainment industry is that “the show must go on.” However, the old adage is true, even in death. Read what these actors had to say about carrying on after losing a co-star.

Chadwick Boseman was the hero and king of Black Panther. However, the actor passed away prior to filming the movie’s sequel. John Ritter was the lead character on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. Then, the beloved actor suffered an aortic dissection while rehearsing one afternoon and died just hours later. The Black Panther sequel and an additional season of 8 Simple Rules went ahead… but not as planned.

Vote up the most emotional stories of actors talking about carrying on after losing a loved one.


  • Stephen Root And The Cast Of 'NewsRadio' Cried Through The Episode Where They Said Goodbye To Phil Hartman And His Character Bill McNeal
    Photo: NBC

    Phil Hartman and Stephen Root co-starred on the criminally underrated '90s comedy NewsRadio. Hartman played snarky egotistical news anchor Bill McNeal and Root played billionaire AM station owner Jimmy James. 

    On May 28, 1998, Hartman's wife Brynn shot and killed her husband in a murder-suicide. The former SNL star had just finished the fourth season of NewsRadio.

    Season 5 opened up with the premiere episode called, “Bill Moves On.” In the episode, McNeal dies from a heart attack. After the funeral, his co-workers read personal notes that they left for him. It's an emotional episode filled with real tears.

    Twenty years after Hartman's death, Root penned a lengthy tribute to the actor. He wrote:

    His death was devastating, and it happened not too long after we'd finished the season. When we went to the funeral, there was so much press wanting to talk to all of us, but we didn't want to talk to them at all. So we didn’t. We put all of our love into the show that we did, into the first show of the next season, which dealt with his passing. We read it once on the day that we usually do, on a Monday. We all cried through it and we all decided, unilaterally, that we weren’t going to rehearse this show.

    The writers were going to boost it up a little from that first reading that we did, but we never rehearsed it. We shot it on Thursday and on a Friday. And it was pretty tearful to shoot, but it was cathartic that we did something within the fictional structure that was real, because we were really hurt that he was no longer there. That was good that we were able to address it.

    The rest of that season, we would have a cardboard cutout of him just peeking around the corner, almost on every show [laughs]. Or we'd have a picture of him on Dave’s desk. Or we would have little reminders of him that we would keep with us on each show that he was still there with us - he just, uh… he was maybe going to come later, you know?

  • Christian Bale Thought He And Heath Ledger Would Be Lifelong Friends
    Photo: The Dark Knight / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Christian Bale and Heath Ledger played mortal enemies in 2008's The Dark Knight. However, only their comic book characters Batman and the Joker were adversaries. In real life, Bale described Ledger as his “kindred spirit to myself.”

    A passionate Bale talked about how much he misses Ledger, who died on January 22, 2008, just a few months after completing The Dark Knight from an accidental overdose of medication. 

    “I want to talk about Heath,” Bale said several months after Ledger's sudden passing. “When you miss somebody, you want to speak about him. He was a good man, and I was glad to have spent time with him.”

    Bale added:

    He was somebody who I’d been seeing on a daily basis for months. It takes a long time to accept that someone’s gone, when all body and mind are telling you that this is somebody you will know for a great deal of time. He was something of a kindred spirit to myself. I hope in a small way that The Dark Knight can be a celebration of his work. Not like the hideous circus after he died, which I felt was an invasion of a private life. This movie is not a personal home video. This is what he did. I hope people will embrace that in the correct fashion.

  • Vin Diesel Walked Paul Walker's Daughter Down The Aisle On Her Wedding Day
    Photo: Fast Five / Universal Pictures

    Paul Walker died on November 30, 2013, at the age of 40 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The actor was in the middle of filming the seventh film in the Fast & Furious franchise, Furious 7.

    Walker played Brian O'Conner, a former FBI agent who turns to the criminal side. Walker became good buddies with co-star Vin Diesel.

    Eight years after Walker's death, an emotional Diesel took to Instagram to remember his good friend. Walker's daughter Meadow had just married, and Diesel walked her down the aisle. 

    Diesel wrote:

    So much to tell you. I can remember that day when you and I were filming that scene in F4 where we were eating Chinese food and we had a brother combat scene which ended in you saying, “Letty just wanted you to come home, Dom…”

    When we were done filming that day, you came into my trailer and asked, “What’s on your mind?” You always knew when something was on my mind. Haha. I told you that I was about to have a baby and didn’t know what to expect at the hospital, which I was heading to after work.

    You said a lot of tough guys will tell you to wait outside of the delivery room, but that’s wrong. Go in there, actually cut the umbilical cord, and it will be the best day of your life.

    You, of course, were talking from experience, having already an angel of your own. It’s been eight years today... and not a day goes by that I don’t reflect of the brotherhood we were blessed to have... but you know that. Tragedies in life are always followed by life’s blessings if you just stay open and have faith.

    How could I have known that back on the 2008 set of Fast... but maybe somehow you did. Miss you. My children always tell me that Uncle Paul is with you, dad, always... and I know in my heart that they are right. Miss you Pablo…

    In order to complete Walker's unfinished scenes in Furious 7, his look-alike brothers Caleb and Cody were hired to serve as stand-ins.

  • Kaley Cuoco Had To Be On Set The Day After John Ritter Passed Away
    Photo: 8 Simple Rules / ABC

    Before Kaley Cuoco starred in the hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory, she played teenager Bridgett Hennessy on the ABC series 8 Simple Rules. On the show, Bridgett's father Paul (John Ritter) attempts to enforce rigid rules when it comes to dating his two daughters. 

    On September 11, 2003, Ritter suffered an aortic dissection while working on the sitcom. The beloved TV star died that same day at the age of 54. 

    Almost 20 years after Ritter's passing, Cuoco appeared in the ABC documentary Superstar: John Ritter. The actress talked about her co-stars' emotional reactions to Ritter's death. 

    "Everyone was just crying, bawling and then people started telling stories," said Cuoco. “I'll never forget, there was the mailman at Warner Bros. and he was like, 'I'd like to speak.' He goes, 'I used to deliver the mail here. John would always say hi to me,' and I was like, ‘Of course he did.'”

    “I really love him so much, to this day,” added Cuoco.