15 TV Deaths (Almost) as Sad as Jack Pearson’s on ‘This Is Us’ (PHOTOS)

arrow - left
arrow - right
Grey's Anatomy

Derek Shepherd (Grey’s Anatomy)

Easily one of the most shocking moments in the long-running medical drama’s history was when Patrick Dempsey’s Derek—the beloved partner to titular Meredith Grey—died from injuries sustained in an accident.


Zeek Braverman (Parenthood)

The patriarch of the Braverman family, played by Craig T. Nelson, made it most of the series without issue. That is, until he started exhibiting cardiac problems in the final season, ultimately ending his life in the series finale.

The Sopranos

Adriana La Cerva (The Sopranos)

When it comes to mobsters, knowing too much is a risk they aren’t willing to take. In Adriana (Drea de Matteo)’s case, she was that risk, and her blood was on the hands of her longtime love, Christopher (Michael Imperioli).


Charlie Pace (Lost)

“Not Penny’s Boat”—three words that will forever be remembered, even though they were never spoken out loud. Charlie (Dominic Monaghan)’s watery death was both peaceful and devastating.


Rayna Jaymes (Nashville)

Fictional country superstar Rayna (Connie Britton) had plenty of near-death experiences, but no one ever expected that she’d die for real. Sadly, it all went down when her police escort was hit by a truck.

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Paul Hennessy (8 Simple Rules)

Following the real-life death of John Ritter, the show explained the actor’s absence by killing off his character, the protective father Paul, during a grocery trip.


James Novak (Scandal)

Played by Dan Bucatinsky, Chief of Staff Cyrus’ husband was murdered by B-613 member Jake Ballard because he knew too much.

Grey's Anatomy

George O’Malley (Grey’s Anatomy)

Another Shondaland death makes the list. This is one of the first noteworthy ones, as T.R. Knight’s George was struck by a bus trying to save people in its path.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
The WB

Joyce Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Buffy’s mother, played by Kristine Sutherland, suddenly and tragically dies of a brain aneurysm, leaving the cult fanbase devastated.


Mark Greene (ER)

Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards), beloved by many on the show, was diagnosed with brain cancer. It was eventually deemed untreatable—just like the tears of fans.


Frank Randall (Outlander)

Of the two characters that Tobias Menzies portrayed in Outlander, Frank was by far the better person. So when he died in a car accident after a heated fight with Claire, we couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy.

Breaking Bad

Hank Schrader (Breaking Bad)

DEA agent Hank (Dean Norris)—the brother-in-law of Walter White (Bryan Cranston)—was a fan favorite character in the AMC series, thanks to his snarky one-liners. Watching him get shot and buried in an unmarked desert grave was a bitter pill to swallow.

Game of Thrones

Eddard Stark (Game of Thrones)

Arya’s father (Sean Bean) met his ugly fate of decapitation in Season 1 of the HBO hit series. It’s still considered one of the saddest and most memorable deaths, and that’s saying something.

Jane The Virgin
The CW

Michael Cordero Jr. (Jane the Virgin)

Jane’s hubby (Brett Dier) seemed to make a full recovery after being shot, but that wasn’t really the case. He later died from an aortic dissection, right in the middle of taking his LSATs.

The Vampire Diaries
The CW

Elena Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)

OK, so her death wasn’t a forever thing. Still, at the time of Nina Dobrev’s departure from the show, it was uncertain if she’d come back to life after being put under a sleeping curse.

1 of

It’s hard to understand why fictional characters occupy our minds, but one of those characters in particular is surely This Is Us Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia).

The visceral reaction to this beloved TV dad’s demise has been going on long before the reason for his death was revealed. This has been topic of discussion for over a year, culminating in the February 4 episode, “Super Bowl Sunday.”

But we should remember that this isn’t the first time we’ve been sent into an emotional tizzy over a TV death. Let’s take a look back at some of the saddest, most memorable, and talked about TV deaths in recent years. Grab a tissue (or two) and click through the gallery above to see who made the list!

'This Is Us': 5 Fan Theories About Jack Pearson's Mysterious DeathSee Also

'This Is Us': 5 Fan Theories About Jack Pearson's Mysterious Death

The NBC drama has kept the circumstances surrounding Jack's death a secret thus far, but fans have their own ideas about how Jack died on 'This Is Us.