We’ve seen tons of fictional characters get killed off over the years, and to be quite honest, we’re still not over most of them. After growing super attached to the point where they feel like our family, we’re often hit with sudden death and no sense of closure. It feels like the ultimate betrayal because we never get to see these characters grow and fulfill their true potential. We’re left hanging with thoughts of what could have been, and so one can’t help but wonder why these producers decide to kill off important characters when they do. What’s intriguing, though, is that the producers aren’t always the ones who make that call.
In fact, some actors actually wanted the beloved characters they played to die… Kind of messed up, right? But to be fair, these stars had legitimate reasons for wanting to leave. While some grew tired of working on the same project, others landed new opportunities and some simply felt that it was time for their character to make an exit. See which actors requested that their characters be taken off the show:
17. Daniel Gillies wanted Joel Goran to be killed off on Saving Hope
Ugh. We cried so many ugly tears during Dr. Goran’s death scene, and we’re still not over it. At first, we thought the fatal explosion was planned all along, but it turns out that Daniel wanted to leave the show because he was having a hard time juggling two projects at once.
He explained: “I asked to be killed at the beginning of the third season. It was a decision that was very difficult to make. I spoke to my representation, and I said, ‘Look. I think we should have this discussion because I have a wife that’s American and I have a daughter that’s an American. Soon I’m going to have another son; he’s going to be an American boy. For all intents and purposes, we live in the United States. And this is my home.’ Los Angeles is my home, and it was a hard … Between The Originals and Saving Hope, I was just exhausted.And so I put it in their minds, and then they approached me later on in the season and surprisingly they sort of acquiesced.”
16. Kal Penn wanted Lawrence Kutner to be killed off on House
It’s safe to say that House fans everywhere were completely floored after finding out about Dr. Kutner’s suicide. It seemed so out of the blue. But the writers only did this because Kal wanted to go work in politics. He’d gotten the opportunity to work with former U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, and so he told the directors that he could no longer be on the show.
He said: “We had a very long discussion. And I remember David [Straiton] saying, ‘Are you telling me that you’re unhappy with the show and that you want to leave so you can go off and do a different show?’ And I was like, ‘Not at all. I’m actually saying the exact opposite, which is I’m having an incredible time, but there’s something aching in me to do something completely different and take a break from the acting thing for a while.’ And with their blessing, we were able to work it out.”
15. Patrick Dempsey wanted Derek Shepherd to be killed off on Grey’s Anatomy
McDreamy’s death was by far one of the most devastating moments in TV history. But the decision to kill him off was actually a mutual one between him and the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes. According to Patrick, both of them kept quiet about it, and no one knew how he’d go. But overall, he was happy with the decision they made, especially because neither could see him just leaving Meredith and his family unless he was torn away from them.
14. T.R. Knight wanted George O’Malley to be killed off on Grey’s Anatomy
Well… Let’s just say that T.R. Knight‘s exit from the series didn’t go as smoothly as his co-star Patrick’s. By season five of the show, he’d noticed that his character suddenly disappeared from most of the episodes. He was confused about the sudden change and, according to him, there was a “breakdown of communication” between himself and Shonda Rhimes. Rather than trying to work things out and stay on the show, he chose to leave.
He said: “My five-year experience proved to me that I could not trust any answer that was given [about George O’Malley]. And with respect, I’m going to leave it at that.”
13. Dean Norris wanted Hank Schrader to be killed off on Breaking Bad
Dean brought up the idea of killing his character in the first half of the final season. As for why, he wanted to leave the show to start working on another one called Under The Dome. His idea, however, got rejected, because his character’s presence throughout the season was crucial. But on the bright side, his character did eventually get killed off. He also worked out his schedule so that he didn’t have to choose between the two shows.
He recalled: “I said, ‘Would it be interesting if Hank died in the first eight?’ They said, ‘No, we kind of need you for the last eight. We’ve been building that up the for last five years’ … Obviously, I’m glad that they did.”
12. Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to be killed off in Star Wars
Harrison wanted Han to die because he felt that it would be the best way for his character to go. He approached George Lucas about doing it in the original three movies, but he didn’t get what he wished for. We’re guessing that Star Wars fans were all too happy about that.
He said: “I asked him to ask the writers to kill me off because I thought that it would be good that the character who appeared to have not so much of a complex interweaving with the theme of the Force and all that good stuff… I thought it would be good that the character if he sacrificed himself in some noble way.”
11. Sophie Turner wanted Sansa Stark to be killed off on Game of Thrones
Lucky for Sansa fans, Sophie didn’t get her wish. But she once explained that she wanted her character killed and for Littlefinger to have the throne.
She said: “I want her to get revenge. I want her to avenge her family’s death and everything. But then I kind of want her to die at the end because I want a big death scene. I want her to die, and I want Littlefinger to end up on the throne. I don’t really care about anyone else.”
10. John Francis Daley wanted Dr. Lance Sweets to be killed off on Bones
John wanted his character gone because he landed an even bigger opportunity and death seemed to be the only answer. He’d gotten the chance to direct a reboot of Vacation, which he simply couldn’t pass up. So in season ten, the writers had his character killed off.
He said: “The directing job was not something that I could walk away from. It was such a huge opportunity. It feels like a good next step in my career and my life; I always dreamed of being a director. So to be able to do something like this on such a huge scale—it’s a huge studio movie—it’s definitely not something I could turn my back on. It was a sacrifice for sure.”
9. Dominic Monaghan wanted Charlie Pace to be killed off on Lost
Although he died a hero, Charlie’s death was one of the hardest TV deaths to watch… ever. Still, Dominic actually felt relieved to exit the show. He described the experience as ‘bittersweet’ because while he enjoyed working on the set, there were a lot of great opportunities he couldn’t commit to at the time.
In an interview, he said: “To be honest, as an actor I’ve been kind of frustrated for a while. I’ve wanted to do a little bit more. The difference between how much the audience got to see Charlie in Season One as opposed to how much they got to see Charlie in Seasons Two and Three was significant. It’s been kind of frustrating for me for a while. So I think it’s time for me to move on.”
8. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje wanted Mr. Eko to be killed off on Lost
In this case, Adewale didn’t have to ask for his character to be removed. He simply couldn’t continue with the show because he was mourning the death of both of his parents in London. Understandably, all he wanted to do was return home, and during his remaining time on the show, everyone could see that he was extremely unhappy. So the producers agreed to kill off his character in season three.
The show’s executive producer, Damon Lindelof, explained: “Our Mr. Eko plans very quickly derailed. Adewale’s unhappiness was almost instantaneous. On his second episode, he was expressing extreme dissatisfaction. Originally he was going to be someone who challenged Locke for the spiritual leadership of the castaways.”
7. Dan Stevens wanted Matthew Crawley to be killed off on Downton Abbey
No one saw this death coming, but Matthew actually got killed off because Dan decided not renew his contract. He wanted to explore new opportunities – mainly in plays and films.
He said: “We were always optioned for three years. And when that came up, it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things. It is a very monopolizing job. So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be.”
6. Sigourney Weaver wanted Ellen Ripley to be killed off in Alien
It turns out that Sigourney wanted her character to die because she refused to keep playing the character in sequels that didn’t live up to the original films. That was the best decision she could’ve made because according to most fans, Alien vs. Predator fell drastically short.
At an event, when she was asked whether or not it was her idea to kill off her iconic character, she responded: “Well, yes, because I heard that Fox was gonna do Alien vs. Predator. Which really depressed me because I was very proud of the movies.”
5. Isaac Hayes wanted Chef to be killed off on South Park
He’d been voicing the character for nearly a decade, but things got pretty tense between Isaac and the show’s creators when they criticized Scientology. Isaac, who had been a Scientologist for several years, got so offended that he asked to be removed from the show completely. As a result, Chef got killed off at the beginning of season ten.
He said: “There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends, and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices.”
4. Josh Charles wanted Will Gardner to be killed off on The Good Wife
Will’s death seemed so sudden, but the decision to kill him off was actually made over a year before. It left fans extremely upset, but it was Charles who wanted this to happen because he didn’t want to renew his contract.
He said: “I had a very short-term deal. It was renewed a couple of times over, and at the end of the fourth year my contract was up, and I chose not to renew. It was just a creative decision for me wanting to go and explore new stuff—in my life, in my career.” The show’s creators also commented: “When faced with the gut punch of Josh’s decision, made over a year ago, to move on to other creative endeavors, we had a major choice to make.”
3. McLean Stevenson wanted Lt. Colonel Henry Blake to be killed off in M*A*S*H
He didn’t specifically ask that his character gets killed, but he did ask to get taken off of the show. He had originally auditioned for the part of Hawkeye and didn’t get the part, so he settled for Henry Blake instead. However, after playing the role for two seasons, he lost interest in the character and asked to be released from his contract. As a result, his character got discharged and killed.
2. Milo Ventimiglia wanted Jess Mariano to be killed off on Gilmore Girls
All we can say is thank God the producers didn’t go for this idea. Milo actually wanted his character to get fatally assaulted out of the blue or die from an accident when he chose to leave the show… Had Jess gotten killed, we’d probably still be mourning his death to this day.
He said: “I wanted him to be hit by a bus or knifed in the neck. He was such a punk, and I wanted him to go out in a redeeming way while breaking up a fight or throwing a kid out of the way of a bus.” Jeez… What are you trying to do, Milo? Give us nightmares?
1. Charlie Sheen wanted Charlie Harper to be killed off in Two and a Half Men
Okay so technically, he didn’t come right out and ask for his character to get killed off. But he sure did go out of his way to make that happen. In short, he became so unbearable to work with on the set that he got fired. He never appeared in the season eight finale and he completely disappeared by season nine. As for his character’s death, it was revealed that he died after being struck by a train. Or as Rose (played by Melanie Lynskey) put it: “His body just exploded like a balloon full of meat.” Yikes.