Scott Wilson, Star of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘In the Heat of the Night,’ Dies at 76

Actor’s credits also included “In Cold Blood,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Pearl Harbor”

scott wilson
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Scott Wilson, the veteran character actor perhaps best known to modern audiences as veterinarian Hershel Green on “The Walking Dead,” has died at age 76.

The actor, whose death was confirmed on the official Twitter account of the AMC show, appeared in dozens of film and TV shows during his five-decade-plus career and earned a Golden Globe nomination for a supporting role in 1980’s “The Ninth Configuration.”

The Georgia native moved to Hollywood in the early 1960s and made a big impression in his first feature film, as a murder suspect in 1967’s Oscar-winning drama “In the Heat of the Night.”

Also in 1967, he starred opposite Robert Blake as a criminal in an adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

He played working-class mechanic George Wilson in 1974’s “The Great Gatsby” opposite Robert Redford — whose character he killed in a jealous rage.

He was not always on the wrong side of the law, playing one of Charlize Theron’s murder victims in 2003’s “Monster.”

Other film credits include 1983’s “The Right Stuff,” 1995’s “Dead Man Walking,” 2001’s “Pearl Harbor” and last year’s Christian Bale Western “Hostiles.”

Wilson joined “The Walking Dead” in Season 2 as a farmer and veterinarian who saved the life of the lead Rick’s young son, then allowed their gang to stay on his property until the zombies invaded.

Over two seasons, he emerged as a kind of conscience of the group and father figure to Andrew Lincoln’s Rick — until Hershel faced his own gruesome death in Season 4 when he was decapitated in front of his daughters.

Despite Hershel’s premature demise, showrunner Angela Kang announced Saturday at New York Comic-Con that Wilson would reprise his role during the AMC hit’s ninth season, which premieres on Sunday.