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The Walking Dead cast, characters, and actors

From Norman Reedus to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead cast contains the star power you'd expect from one of the best horror series.

The Walking Dead cast

Even the undead have to die at some point, and so it is that The Walking Dead season 11 finished the main show. Over the course of nearly 200 episodes, we’ve met a range of survivors. The Walking Dead cast has some legends who’ve been around forever, and some who arrived late in the day.

The Walking Dead was developed by Frank Darabont from the comics by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, and it became a bona fide phenomenon and one of the best horror series around – at least until The Last of Us stole its thunder. So we’ve dived into one of the best TV series of recent decades to tell you all about the most important actors and characters.

The Walking Dead cast: Norman Reedus

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon

Although not the main protagonist to start, Norman Reedus and his character Daryl practically became The Walking Dead’s mascots. As the troubled, frantic younger brother of Merle, Daryl is quickly disliked by the group by association. However, as soon as he’s free of his brother’s watchful eye, Daryl quickly softens and proves himself to be a loyal and valuable member of the original crew.

Before hunting undead in the long-running show, Reedus had various parts in a slew of films and TV shows, appearing in Mimic, 8mm, The Boondock Saints, Triple 9, and many more. He has more recently fronted his own travel show, Ride with Norman Reedus, and will star in a John Wick spin-off when the Ballerina release date comes around.

The Walking Dead cast: Andrew Lincoln

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes

Even if you don’t know The Walking Dead all that well, you’ve likely seen some of the memes featuring Rick and his son, Carl. Zombies are generally no laughing matter, but Rick shouting at Carl very much was.

The Walking Dead initially started as Rick’s story, following the Atlanta cop as he wakes up from a coma to find that the world has fallen apart. From that point on, nothing will stop him from finding his wife and son.

Teachers and This Life were two of Lincoln’s bigger roles before becoming The Walking Dead’s sheriff, and he was, of course, the man behind the placards in that infamous scene in one of the best Christmas movies, Love Actually.

Next up, he’s returning to The Walking Dead as the co-lead of the spin-off series The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, along with Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne. These guys are just obsessed with zombies.

The Walking Dead cast: Melissa McBride

Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier

Carol’s arc from abuse victim to one of the most resourceful leaders in the group is one that’s made The Walking Dead continually worth tuning for. When we first meet Carol, she’s quiet, fearful, and completely dictated by her nasty husband, Ed. Later, when Ed is killed, she starts to come out of her shell. As she grows more vocal and more fierce, Carol becomes one of the longest-standing members of the original cast.

Art imitated life to a lesser extent, as the show was her big break as an actor after being relegated to bit parts since the ’90s. Unfortunately, things have gone a little quiet for her since The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead cast: Lauran Cast

Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene

The mighty leader of Hilltop and one of the better strategists among The Walking Dead’s characters, Maggie could’ve led the show herself if she needed to. Maggie is the daughter of peaceful farmer Hershel, and finds her life turned upside down when Rick and his team roll up seeking shelter. Maggie quickly takes to Glenn, and as their relationship blooms, she becomes a formidable force in the new world.

No stranger to iconic pop culture, Cohan’s been in Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, and Chuck. She’s also appeared on the big screen too, in movies like The Boy and Batman v Superman. She’s now the co-lead of the spin-off series Dead City, along with Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

The Walking Dead cast: Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira as Michonne

The coolest The Walking Dead character, right? We can all agree? Good, because naysayers might have suffered the blade. And you can day Danai Gurira again with Andrew Lincoln in the upcoming Rick & Michonne spin-off. When we first meet Michonne, she’s wielding a sword and has two pet walkers on a leash. So, yeah, safe to say she’s pretty awesome.

When not handling the living dead, she stars in the MCU as Okoye, a high-ranking Wakandan royal guard. Not someone you should ever cross. You’re better off watching the Marvel movies in order from the comfort of your sofa.

The Walking Dead cast: Josh McDermitt

Josh McDermitt as Eugene Porter

We all saw it coming, and Eugene’s deception was still so disheartening to watch. Of course, he didn’t have a cure, but to be so inept all the while? C’mon, man. Let’s explain: Eugene claims to be a scientist who has the cure for the worldwide infection that’s caused the whole big mess. Of course, there’s always a ‘miracle cure’ in zombie media, so it was pretty obvious from the beginning that this was a dud.

The Walking Dead is his first major role, but before then, he was making strides in the world of comedy, first as a radio producer and later on reality show Last Comic Standing. Most recently, he appeared in Shudder‘s anthology series Creepshow.

The Walking Dead cast: Seth Gilliam

Seth Gilliam as Gabriel Stokes

Zombies tend to put any level of faith one might have in a higher power to the test. Ultimately, you’ve got to trust what’s right in front of you. Gabriel perpetually struggles to accept the situation he’s in, making him quite relatable at times.

Featured in some of the best drama series like Oz and The Wire, Seth Gilliam knows great TV when he sees it, which is probably how he ended up joining Daryl and company to start. Most recently, he returned to his Teen Wolf role for the spin-off movie, and he has also appeared in The Blacklist.

The Walking Dead cast: Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan

The most brilliantly cast Walking Dead character, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, brought the dastardly Negan to life perfectly. Negan’s introduction is one of the most memorable and effective in the entire series, making him a villain for the ages. We don’t go into details as not to spoil things, but rest assured that Negan lives up to everything you’ve ever heard about him.

A well-traveled and beloved character actor, Morgan’s been everywhere, from one of Zack Snyder’s best superhero movies in Watchmen to perhaps the best fantasy series in Supernatural. He recently joined The Boys cast as well while reprising Negan in Dead City. As they say, there is no rest for the wicked.

Walking Dead cast: Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh

Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh

We couldn’t talk about The Walking Dead cast without mentioning Rick’s best frenemy could, we? As Rick’s cop partner and his nearest and dearest friend, Shane took it upon himself to barricade a comatose Rick in the hospital as the mass infection was beginning. He also ended up taking care of Carl and Lori. A great gesture, but not so ideal when he ends up falling in love with Lori.

Shane’s fall from a devoted friend to raging threat is a difficult one to watch, but Jon Bernthal quickly proved he was the man for the job. After The Walking Dead started airing, Bernthal won roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, Sicario, Baby Driver, and of course, Marvel’s Daredevil series as Punisher. He would also get his own self-titled Marvel series, and he’s set to return in Daredevil season 4.

Walking Dead cast: Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes

Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes

As far as Lori is concerned when we first meet her, her husband is dead. This is probably why she turns to Shane, a situation which turns very awkward indeed when Rick seemingly rises from the grave. But she’s devoted to Rick, which ends up being part of Shane’s ultimate downfall. For better or worse, Lori is determined to make sure that Carl doesn’t fall victim to the growing evil in the world.

Prior to The Walking Dead, Callies was best known for playing Sara in Prison Break. She starred in the zombie series for three seasons before eventually being killed off in horrific fashion (really, is there any other kind?). Since then, she’s appeared in the comedy series Letterkenny as Anita, and reprised her role as Lori in the Walking Dead video game, Destinies.

Walking Dead cast: Laurie Holden as Andrea

Laurie Holden as Andrea

Andrea is one of the original members of the group, and one of the first people Rick meets when he’s trapped in the city. Determined to prove herself, Andrea presents herself as tough and ready to rumble, no matter how inexperienced she really is. The only one who can crack her hardened exterior is her younger sister Amy, whose death changes Andrea in unimaginable ways.

Holden’s first major role was in 2005’s Fantastic Four, where she played Debbie, Ben’s wife. She then played Amanda in the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist. (One of the most devastating horror movie endings, FYI.) Since finishing up as Andrea on The Walking Dead, she’s appeared in Chicago Fire, The Americans, and The Boys.

The Walking Dead cast: Ross Marquand

Ross Marquand as Aaron

As the first openly gay protagonist in the comics, Aaron needed to be done justice for the adaptation. Ross Marquand nailed it, breathing life to a survivor who’s proven he’s in it for the long haul.

You probably know Marquand’s voice rather than his face since he’s been Red Skull and Ultron bots in the MCU and a few different roles in the Invincible cast. He’ll always be Aaron to us, mind.

Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa in The Walking Dead cast

Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa

Rosita first showed up in the fourth season of The Walking Dead and went on to be one of the longest-running characters in the series. She’s actually in more episodes than Rick Grimes and was a key member of Rick’s army of survivors.

Christian Serratos was previously best known for her role as Bella’s classmate Angela in the Twilight franchise. She was also a child star on shows, including Nickelodeon series Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. More recently, she played the title role in Netflix’s Selena: The Series, telling the true story of the Mexican-American singer.

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes in The Walking Dead cast

Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes

Rick’s young son Carl was an integral part of The Walking Dead, telling a clear loss of innocence story for the man coming of age in a world of carnage and violence. His death in season eight of the show was massively controversial among fans, who loved the character and pointed to his importance in the comics.

The role of Carl was a breakout one for Chandler Riggs, who was nominated for numerous awards over his lengthy tenure as part of the cast. He now has a recurring role as PJ Nelson on the Boston-set family drama A Million Little Things.

Walking Dead cast - Alanna Masterson as Tara

Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler

Tara was the first The Walking Dead character to identify as LGBTQ+, introduced as part of the storyline involving The Governor in the fourth season. She stuck around until season nine before getting a particularly gruesome death, like so many of the best characters on this show do.

Before she joined TV’s premier zombie series, Masterson had popped up in guest roles on the likes of Malcolm in the Middle and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. She has the animated series Gossamer in her future, alongside Thomasin McKenzie, Vera Farmiga, and Forest Whitaker.

Khary Payton as Ezekiel in The Walking Dead cast

Khary Payton as Ezekiel Sutton

Ezekiel made his Walking Dead debut early in the seventh season as the leader of The Kingdom, who joined Rick’s group in conflict against Negan and his ruthless team. He also has a pet tiger willing to protect him at any cost, which is pretty damn cool.

Khary Payton was previously best known as a voice-over artist for video games and TV shows, including as Cyborg in the DC animated series Teen Titans. He later reprised that role in Teen Titans Go! and various spin-offs. In 2023, he voiced Penguin King in the Super Mario movie.

Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead cast

Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee

As with many characters in a blood-soaked show like The Walking Dead, Glenn eventually became defined by his death. Steven Yeun’s beloved character was brutally murdered by Negan with his trusty barbed-wire baseball bat. Fans had fallen in love with Glenn as they watched his romance with Maggie, only for him to meet a gory end.

Yeun has gone from strength to strength since The Walking Dead. He got a nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars thanks to his work in Minari and he also showed up in one of the best Jordan Peele movies, Nope. Yeun also leads the Invincible cast as the titular superhero, so it’s fair to say he’s a busy dude.

Cooper Andrews as Jerry in The Walking Dead cast

Cooper Andrews as Jerry

Jerry was introduced in the seventh season of The Walking Dead as a faithful bodyguard to Ezekiel, earning a promotion to series regular for the 10th season. The character added a welcome element of humor to what could at times be a very po-faced show. Thank goodness for Jerry.

The Walking Dead stands as actor Cooper Andrews’ most famous role, though he is also a part of the DC Universe as Billy Batson’s foster father in the Shazam movies. He also appeared in Halt and Catch Fire, which might just be the best TV series you’ve never seen.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams in The Walking Dead cast

Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha Williams

Introduced in the third season of The Walking Dead, Sasha is a firearms specialist, providing some very useful skills to the group of survivors. She’s more of a pragmatist than her older brother Tyrese, who tries to maintain his humanity more fully.

Although Sasha met a zombiefied end in season seven, Sonequa Martin-Green made several appearances in flashbacks and visions in subsequent seasons. Away from zombies, Martin-Green led the cast of Star Trek Discovery as Michael Burnham, who went from science specialist to one of the best Star Trek captains.

Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko in The Walking Dead cast

Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko

One of the most prominent LGBTQ+ characters in The Walking Dead, Yumiko joined the show in season nine. Throughout her time as part of the fight against the walkers, she ascended to become the leader of her particular survivor group.

Japan-born but a British citizen, Matsuura has had an eclectic career on UK TV, including in Utopia, as well as small roles in the likes of Doctor Who and Sherlock. She has also had a rather unsung role as the Amazonian healer Epione in the DC Universe.

The Walking Dead cast - Nadia Hilker as Magna

Nadia Hilker as Magna

Magna arrived late in the day as a member of The Walking Dead cast, but she played a pivotal role in the final three seasons. Through her relationship with Yumiko, she became one of the most popular LGBTQ+ characters on the show. The leader of a group of Richmond survivors, she assisted in the fight against the Whisperers.

Nadia Hilker earned critical acclaim for her performances in the show, arriving as part of a concerted move to freshen up the ensemble. Prior to the show, she worked primarily in her native Germany and had also had a role in another post-apocalyptic series, The 100. Unfortunately, we’ve not heard much from her since The Walking Dead came to an end.

The Walking Dead cast - Lennie James as Morgan

Lennie James as Morgan Jones

Morgan is a pivotal character in The Walking Dead, being the first person Rick Grimes encounters after awakening from his coma into the outbreak. Following the death of his wife, a grief-stricken Morgan is driven to protect his son Duane. Morgan made appearances across the first eight seasons of the show before being ported over to spin-off Fear the Walking Dead.

In his native UK, James is known for his work in the first season of cop drama Line of Duty. He also created and starred in the drama series Save Me and has an estensive background as a character actor in film and TV. His next project is an apocalyptic musical comedy movie called The End, starring Tilda Swinton. Well, we can’t wait for that one!

The Walking Dead cast - Callan McAuliffe as Alden

Callan McAuliffe as Alden

Also known as simply Al, we were introduced to Alden in the eighth season of The Walking Dead. He was originally a part of Negan’s survivor group, The Saviors, but was less prone to violence than the other members of that alliance – and certainly more level-headed than its leader. He eventually became a beloved member of the cast, until his inevitable bloody end, of course.

Callan McAuliffe began as a child actor in his native Australia and had a key role in the ill-fated teen sci-fi movie I Am Number Four. He later played a young Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby. We’re still waiting for a signature post-TWD role, sadly.

The Walking Dead cast - Lauren Ridloff as Connie

Lauren Ridloff as Connie

Connie didn’t show up until season nine of The Walking Dead, but she swiftly made an impact as the first deaf character in the show. Brought over from the comics, Connie became a series regular in season 10. She’s a battle-hardened survivor by the time we meet her and the series built some effective and impactful action sequences around her unique perspective on the dangerous world.

Lauren Ridloff is among Hollywood’s most prominent deaf actors and made MCU history with her role as the super-speedy deaf superhero Makkari in Eternals. She also appeared in the Oscar-winning drama Sound of Metal, in which Riz Ahmed played a drummer who suddenly loses his hearing.

Walking Dead cast - Cailey Fleming as Judith Grimes

Cailey Fleming as Judith Grimes

We first met Judith Grimes as a newborn in the third season of The Walking Dead and the character was played by various child actors throughout the subsequent seasons until Cailey Fleming picked up the mantle in season 9. She’s the daughter of Rick and Lori Grimes and has been compared to both Lisa Simpson and Eleven from Stranger Things.

Fleming first broke into acting as the younger version of Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and she also played a young Sylvie in Loki, so she’s carving a lovely Disney niche. She’s set for a key role in John Krasinski’s fantasy-comedy movie IF in 2024.

Walking Dead cast - Cassady McClincy as Lydia

Cassady McClincy as Lydia

Introduced in season 9, Lydia survived the outbreak as part of the Whisperers, ultimately ending up held prisoner at the Hilltop. Her loyalties are questioned throughout her time with the survivors and she bonds with fellow outsider Negan. While the character wasn’t always popular with fans and critics, Cassady McClincy’s performance got singled out for praise.

Away from zombies, McClincy had a recurring role in Castle Rock and has also popped up in Ozark. On the big screen, she appeared in the brilliant LGBTQ+ rom-com Love, Simon.

The Walking Dead cast - Emily Kinney as Beth Greene

Emily Kinney as Beth Greene

Beth first appeared way back in the second season of the show as Maggie’s half-sister. Her introductory story arc is an enormously tragic one, with Beth almost taking her own life after being confronted by her reanimated mother. She went on to form a close bond with Daryl Dixon, right up until her death in an explosive scene of bloodshed from season five.

Kinney began her acting career on the stage before taking on roles in TV series including The Good Wife and Masters of Sex. After The Walking Dead, she joined the Arrowverse and appeared in both Arrow and The Flash as Bug-Eyed Bandit.

The Walking Dead cast - Katelyn Nacon as Enid

Katelyn Nacon as Enid

Introduced in the season five episode ‘Remember’, Enid would go on to form a romance with Carl Grimes. The two were fan-favorites, which made things all the more devastating when Carl died in the eighth season of the show. She ultimately met a violent end at the hands of the leader of the Whisperers.

Before The Walking Dead, Nacon was known for showing up in the viral Adult Swim short Too Many Cooks. It’s a chilling and surreal film we still think about often. Since Walking Dead, she’s played major roles in teen-focused TV series T@gged and Light as a Feather.

The Walking Dead cast - Tom Payne as Jesus

Tom Payne as Paul ‘Jesus’ Rovia

Jesus is an ambassador for the Hilltop group of survivors and made his debut in the sixth season of the show. He was known for his smooth-talking, which definitely helped him as an ambassador, right up until his season nine death at the hands of the Whisperers.

Tom Payne wasn’t a well-known face in the USA at all before The Walking Dead. A certain generation of British kids will remember him from Waterloo Road, but he’s unsurprisingly got a lot more bearded since then. His next project is the small matter of working with Kevin Costner, so we’re eagerly anticipating the Horizon release date.

The Walking Dead cast - Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford

Michael Cudlitz as Abraham Ford

The volatile Abraham first showed up in season four of The Walking Dead. Although we’d be volatile too if zombies had killed our entire family. He’s good with a gun in his hands and also had a very fine run of one-liners. The Walking Dead is a serious show and the characters are seldom quotable. Abraham was different.

TV actor Michael Cudlitz won awards recognition for his work as the LAPD officer John Cooper in Southland. He also appeared in one of the best TV series ever, playing Sergeant Denver “Bull” Randleman in Steven Spielberg’s war series Band of Brothers. More recently, he voices Red Rush in Invincible and plays one of the most iconic DC villains, Lex Luthor, in Superman & Lois. Not a bad resume at all!

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Who’s in The Walking Dead: Dead City cast?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan return for The Walking Dead: Dead City, where they battle zombified Manhattan to save Maggie’s son. They’re joined by newcomers Gaius Charles, Željko Ivanek, and Mahina Napoleon, and a wealth of guest stars, all of whom are just trying to get by!

The Walking Dead: Dead City cast list:

  • Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan
  • Gaius Charles as Perlie Armstrong
  • Željko Ivanek as ‘The Croat’
  • Mahina Napoleon as Ginny
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Who’s in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon cast?

Fan favorite character Daryl Dixon’s also getting his own spin-off as well. The creatively titled The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon will explore zombified France, which is where the zombie plague originated from, and will introduce a whole host of new faces as Daryl wanders across the wasteland of Europe.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon cast list:

  • Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
  • Clémence Poésy as Isabelle
  • Adam Nagaitis as Quinn
  • Anne Charrier as Genet
  • Eriq Ebouaney as Fallou
  • Laika Blanc Francard as Sylvie
  • Romain Levi as Codron
  • Louis Puech Scigliuzzi as Laurent
  • Paloma as Coco
  • Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
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Who’s in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live cast?

Dead City and Daryl Dixon aren’t the only zombie series in town. There’s also The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, which will reunite fan favorites Rick and Michonne

The Ones Who Live cast list:

  • Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
  • Danai Gurira as Michonne
  • Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis Stokes / Anne
  • Lesley-Ann Brandt as Pearl Thorne
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Who’s in the Fear the Walking Dead cast?

Originally, Fear the Walking Dead served as a prequel to the main chronology of The Walking Dead, but later seasons happen alongside the core show. Lennie James is the big cross-over between the two series as Morgan Jones.

Fear the Walking Dead cast list:

  • Colman Domingo as Victor Strand
  • Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark
  • Danay Garcia as Luciana Galvez
  • Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar
  • Lennie James as Morgan Jones
  • Jenna Elfman as June Dorie
  • Alexa Nisenson as Charlie
  • Austin Amelio as Dwight
  • Kim Dickens as Madison Clark
  • Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa
  • Frank Dillane as Nicholas “Nick” Clark
  • Karen David as Grace Mukherjee

The Walking Dead cast - Lennie James in Fear the Walking Dead

That’s all the main members of The Walking Dead cast for you, along with the major spin-offs. For more on the show, find out about how The Walking Dead cast had to go to zombie school. You can also find out about our splattery picks for the best zombie movies ever made and learn which Star Trek captains would survive a zombie movie.

If you’d like to keep tabs on some upcoming small screen dramas, make sure to bookmark our guides to Stranger Things season 5, the Severance season 2 release date, and the True Detective season 4 release date.