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'Walking Dead' actor Scott Wilson dies at 76

Wilson played the rural farmer Hershel Greene on the series.

LOS ANGELES — Scott Wilson, a high-profile member of the cast of "The Walking Dead" between 2010 and 2014, has died. He was 76.

His death was announced Saturday on The Walking Dead official Twitter account. No details were immediately available.

Wilson played the rural farmer Hershel Greene on the series. He was a regular on "The Walking Dead" from its inception in 2010 through 2014. His character helped the resistance led by star Andrew Lincoln in battling the show's walkers. The character was killed off in season four.

News of Wilson's death came shortly after it was announced at "The Walking Dead" panel at New York Comic Con that Wilson would be among past cast members appearing in the AMC show's ninth season, which debuts Sunday. Wilson had already filmed his scenes.

"Scott will always be remembered as a great actor and we all feel fortunate to have known him as an even better person," AMC said in a statement Saturday.

Wilson was born in Atlanta on March 29, 1942. He graduated high school in 1960. He left college and hitchhiked to Los Angeles to become an actor and after five years broke out in a pair of 1967 movies -- first as murder suspect Harvey Oberst in Best Picture Academy Award winner in "In the Heat of the Night," and then as murderer Richard Hickock opposite Robert Blake in the film adaptation of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood."

Wilson played a key role in 1974's "The Great Gatsby" in which his character killed Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford) while at his mansion swimming pool, then turned the gun on himself. He received a Golden Globe nomination in 1980 in the supporting actor category as Captain Billy Cutshaw in the film "The Ninth Configuration."

His credits included "The Heartbreak Kid," "Hostiles," "The Gypsy Moths," "The Right Stuff," "Pearl Harbor," "Junebug," "Judge Dredd," the Shiloh film series and "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon." He had a recurring role in several episodes of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" as Sam Braun.

Wilson was also active in the Screen Actors Guild and strongly opposed the attempts to merge SAG with AFTRA.

"I loved him," said longtime friend and activist Arlin Miller. "Scott was a great actor and a wonderful man who was always looking out for the best interests of the union and his fellow actors."

Wilson is survived by his wife, Heavenly, an artist and attorney. No memorial plans have been announced.