The Walking Dead stuntman John Bernecker dies; see cast tributes

John BerneckerToday is a very sad day within The Walking Dead and its surrounding family, as stuntman John Bernecker has died of his injuries. It is devastating news that of course alters production and impacts the show community, but more than that it’s about losing a talented performer who worked on a wide array of different productions. He was also a beloved person.

Bernecker’s lethal accident occurred earlier this week, when while shooting a stunt with a fellow actor, ended up falling from a high distance. A Deadline report states that it is believed to be the first stunt-related death in the United States in 17 years. Both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and SAG-AFTRA have both opened investigations into what transpired. Those investigations could take some time to complete.

Stuntmen are one of the most unheralded of performers — it wasn’t until recently that they were acknowledged at the SAG Awards — but they often do form close relationships with other actors and performers. Then spend a lot of time collaborating with them, and putting themselves in difficult positions for the sake of the product. While stunts are safer now by and large than they were many decades ago, this is a clear example that sometimes, things can still go wrong.

Austin Amelio (who plays Dwight) has been identified as an actor who was working with Bernecker at the time of the accident. He shared some of his thoughts on the subject on Twitter.

Meanwhile, you can see below what many of the other Walking Dead cast members have to say about what transpired, including Norman Reedus (Daryl), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan). Production has been halted for the immediate future, and it remains to be seen when it will be started up once more. In the end, all of that does seem trivial when discussing the loss of a life, something that happened in a horribly tragic way as a result of the accident.

We know that there are reports out there that are going into specifics about how Bernecker fell, the conditions on the set, and have quotes from various sources who were around the incident. We’re not looking to get into finger-pointing or anything gruesome or dehumanizing here. This is more about reflecting on the death of Bernecker and expressing sympathy and hope that future accidents can be avoiding. Our sincere thoughts go out to his family and loved ones during what has to be a difficult time.

Hopefully, The Walking Dead and AMC come up with a further way in which to honor the actor, whether it be a title card in the premiere, a segment during Talking Dead, or something further to exemplify the work that he put into his craft. (Photo: AMC.)

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!