As a diehard fan of The Walking Dead, I followed the news stories surrounding the sudden departure of the show's original executive producer/showrunner, Frank Darabont, as they were leaking out around season two. At first, it was suggested that Darabont had quit; later, it emerged that he had actually been fired. Then I heard reports that one of the actors, who was not named, but identified as someone who had worked with Darabont before, had quit the show in a display of solidarity. It was still unclear who this might be, however, because at least three actors on the show (Jeffrey DeMunn/Dale, Melissa McBride/Carol, and Jon Berenthal/Shane) fit this description.
When Dale died near the end of the second season - much earlier than he does in the comic books - I assumed that he was the mysterious quitter. More recently, I stumbled across an article that appears to confirm this:
Chandler Riggs [who plays Carl] confirmed that actor Jeffrey DeMunn, who portrayed Dale Horvath on ”The Walking Dead”, quit the show. “After Darabont left, he was like ‘I’m out of here'.” As you might remember, showrunner Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption”) was unceremoniously fired by AMC last year. DeMunn, who was a regular in Darabont’s films (having roles in “The Green Mile,” “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Mist”) was crushed by Darabont’s firing and left after he was no longer involved with the show.
- The Cynical Optimist
Although Chandler Riggs is an inside source and has no readily apparent reason to lie, he was only 12 years old when he gave the interview in which he said that DeMunn had quit, and it is hard to imagine the 65 year old DeMunn taking a 12 year old boy into his confidence.