Whilst we would never pretend that the death of our favourite TV character should ever be taken too seriously, we’re sure that you’ll join us in paying tribute to the following tragic on screen moments that have stayed with us for many years.
Below are eight TV character deaths that have definitely traumatised us for life, so be sure to post a comment letting us know how many of these moments you remember, which affected you the most, and which on screen tragedy we should have included on our list.
8. Jack Duckworth (Coronation Street)
The death of the legend that is Jack Duckworth in legendary British soap Coronation Street was made even more poignant by the death of Bill Tarmey, the actor who portrayed him, just two years later.
If you remember, Jack’s on screen wife Vera appeared as a ghost waiting for her husband to join her in heaven, giving us a fitting send-off to one of the greatest TV couples of all time.
7. Tasha Yar (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Star Trek: The Next Generation first hit our TV screens all the way back in September 1987, and we don’t know about you, but we were not ready for one of the main characters to be killed off before the end of the first series!
Tasha Yar was defeated by a man dressed in some slimy black bin bags, and despite the show’s eventual success, actor Denise Crosby has said that she had no regrets about asking to leave, saying: “I was miserable. I couldn’t wait to get off that show. I was dying. I didn’t want to spend the next six years going ‘aye aye captain,’ and standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on the bridge.”
6. Madge Bishop (Neighbours)
Ramsay Street’s resident battleaxe Madge Bishop, played by Anne Charleston, succumbed to cancer all the way back in 2001, dying with her resurrected husband Harold by her side.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Madge said “go to Paris, go for me” as her last words, referring to the holiday that she and Harold would never get to take together.
5. Danny Kendall (Grange Hill)
Grange Hill wasn’t afraid to show us some rather traumatic deaths, bearing in mind it was of course a show aimed at children. This means that we still vividly remember some of the moments where characters lost their lives throughout the 30 years it was on our TV screens.
Examples include Antoni Karamanopolis falling off the roof of a car park during a game of dare and Jeremy Irvine drowning, but it was Danny Kendall dying of an unnamed neurological disorder that has stuck with us over the years. If you watched the scene where his head flops out of the car door as a kid, then we’re sure that you’ll never have forgotten it.
4. Danielle Jones (EastEnders)
In an EastEnders scene that will stay with us forever, Ronnie Mitchell finds out that Danielle is the daughter she had given up (and was told had died), so races to stop her leaving on a tube train.
She makes it in the nick of time, but as they look at each other from across the road, Danielle is suddenly hit by Janine Butcher’s speeding car.
3. Stephanie Holden (Baywatch)
The Baywatch fans among you are bound to remember the death of Stephanie Holden, a character who first entered the show in series three, and met her sad demise in series seven.
Holden, played by former model Alexandra Paul, died from a lightning strike whilst out at sea, but later reprised her role as a hallucination in a second season episode of the spin-off series, Baywatch Nights.
2. Daphne Clarke (Neighbours)
In an episode of Neighbours that still traumatises us to this very day, Daphne Clarke became the very first of the regular cast members to die. It’s a scene that we’ll never forget: She’s in a coma, she talks, her husband Des runs to get help, celebrating that she’s waking up, she suffers a cardiac arrest, there’s nothing they can do…
The continuous beeping of the heart monitor is a sound that even now stirs up our emotions. Watch it and I’m sure you’ll agree that Paul Keane’s performance as Des Clarke in this scene really is something quite special.
1. Optimus Prime (The Transformers: The Movie)
Ok, so The Transformers: The Movie was of course a movie rather than a TV show, but Optimus Prime was definitely one of our favourite TV characters of all time.
Knowing that to sell more toys they would have to kill off existing characters, Transformers: The Movie put an end to over a dozen characters from the cartoon series, including Starscream, and of course Optimus himself.