Norman Reedus Tears Up At Comic-Con After Fatal Accident On The ‘Walking Dead’ Set [Opinion]

Norman Reedus got emotional during the San Diego Comic-Con’s The Walking Dead panel, one week after tragedy struck the TWD set. Stuntman John Bernecker, age 33, fell more than 20 feet onto concrete below in a fatal accident according to Entertainment Weekly.

The Walking Dead cast and crew had already begun filming TWD Season 8 when John Bernecker fell while performing a stunt on Wednesday, July 12. John died at Atlanta Medical Center Wednesday, July 12, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, and the rest of The Walking Dead cast waited until Wednesday to post their sympathies to the family of John Bernecker.

Lauren Cohan, Maggie on The Walking Dead, tweeted, thanking fans for “thoughts and prayers.”

“No words can express my sadness for John Bernecker and his family. Thank you all for having them in your thoughts and prayers also.”

Norman Reedus, who portrays The Walking Dead‘s heroic Daryl Dixon, tweeted “Love and Prayers” to John Bernecker’s family and friends.

“Love and prayers to Johns family and friends today. You will be missed.”

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who portrays The Walking Dead‘s villainous Negan, tweeted that John Bernecker would be “forever missed.”

“Deep sorrow today, and for every tomorrow. Love, respect, and condolences to John’s family, and friends. He will be forever missed.”

The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple told the San Diego audience it was a difficult decision whether to continue with plans for the cast to appear at Comic-Con. Gimple is quoted on Savannah Now.

“We didn’t really know if we should do this panel today, but we wanted to be here for you,”

Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Khary Payton, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Alanna Masterson, and other cast members joined The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman in a panel discussion following a tribute to John Bernecker led by Scott Gimple.

The Walking Dead’s Scott Gimple is quoted in Savannah Now telling the San Diego audience that John Bernecker was loved.

“He was beloved in the stunt community. He was living his dream and he helped other people do the same thing.”

Norman Reedus teared up a bit later in the panel discussion, perhaps still thinking of John Bernecker, and also thinking back over the last seven seasons of The Walking Dead. Norman Reedus has become central to the plot of The Walking Dead.

Danai Gurira,. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Lauren Cohan
Danai Gurira, from left, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Lauren Cohan by Al Powers AP

Norman Reedus is quoted in Fan Fest explaining to the San Diego audience how much The Walking Dead fans, cast, and crew mean to him.

“I’m sitting here and I’m listening to these questions and everything else and getting wrapped up in all this stuff and looking at that retrospective over here, I’m almost tearing up. I’ve gotta say, this has been such a good experience for all of us and we’ve always had each other’s back and had your back and you guys have our backs and it’s been fantastic. It still is fantastic.”

Production of The Walking Dead was temporarily halted as the cast and crew took time to grieve and deal with their emotions. It was a devastating and sudden loss to John Bernecker’s family, friends, and his current and former co-workers.

The Walking Dead cast
The Walking Dead cast by Gene Page AMC

Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Lauren Cohan, and the rest of The Walking Dead cast and crew, as well as John Bernecker’s family, the community of stunt workers, and his many friends throughout the film industry, are grief stricken. John Bernecker is deeply missed.


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John Bernecker and other stuntmen risk their lives so that actors like Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln stay safe. They are professionals who know how to minimize the risks, but there are always risks.

The Walking Dead viewers and fans of Norman Reedus, Andrew Lincoln, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Lauren Cohan should take the time to remember John Bernecker.

[Featured Image by Al Powers/Invision/AP Images]