Thursday night’s episode of The Big Bang Theory finally got around to acknowledging the death of the actress who played Mrs. Wolowitz, Carol Ann Susi, in a touching sequence that acknowledged the role Mrs. Wolowitz played in the characters’ lives, without being overly maudlin. Susi died in November, 2014, according to this Inquisitr report, while the 2014-2015 season of The Big Bang Theory was already in full production mode.
Carol Ann Susi is, sadly, not the only cast member of a popular TV show to die during production. Here is a look at how three other TV shows handled the death of a cast member during its run.
John Ritter: 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
Three episodes into production of the show’s second season in 2003, John Ritter, who played the lead character, Paul Hennessy, died of an undiagnosed heart condition, according to Time. Production was halted for two months, and then the show, retitled Eight Simple Rules, resumed with a one-hour special revealing that Paul had died.
The show tried valiantly to soldier on without him, but without an overbearing father fiercely protecting his teen daughter (Kaley Cuoco) from would-be beaus, the show lacked its original concept, and was cancelled after Season 3.
Ironically, thanks to being in both The Big Bang Theory and 8 Simple Rules, actress Kaley Cuoco has found herself in the casts of two shows that have lost cast members during production.
Cory Monteith: Glee
Actor Cory Monteth died of a drug overdose in 2013 at the age of 31, according to Biography. The actor, who had struggled with alcohol and drug issues all his life, played beloved quarterback Finn on Glee. In the third episode of Season 5, entitled “The Quarterback,” the show’s characters paid tribute to their beloved friend, without revealing how he died.
Glee is currently in its sixth and final season.
Russell Armstrong: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
On August 16, 2011, Russell Armstrong, estranged husband of Real Housewives star Taylor Armstrong hanged himself in an apparent suicide, according to TMZ. Some fans, and some in the TV industry, wanted the show to be cancelled. However, the second season was already planned to deal honestly with the issues of Russell and Taylor’s estrangement, as well as his alleged abuse. Instead, according to Buzzfeed, the season was carefully edited for “sensitivity reasons” and the show went on without him.
As for The Big Bang Theory, Thursday night’s episode revealing Mrs. Wolowitz’s death won’t be the end of her story. Show runner Steve Molaro reveals that further episodes will deal with the cast, particularly Howard and Bernadette, coming to grips with the death of one of the show’s beloved characters.
Do you think The Big Bang Theory handled the death of cast member Carol Ann Susi appropriately? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Stuff Point]