I just saw [Furious 7](movie:264263) last night, and without spoiling the specifics of it, there was a lot of good Paul Walker love in the film. In the case of that franchise, the Fast and Furious crew certainly bonded, what with 7 films under their belts. One of the main elements of that franchise is family, and the cast became one for sure. They also extended that familial bond to the audience - I mean, I felt like Paul was kind of like an older brother as I watched him grow in the movies.
It's rare that a movie franchise can last as long as that one did, but in the case of TV, we see a lot of very real families develop. It's especially hard if a TV show catches fire because the harsh realities of life can sometimes catch up to a cast member too soon. We often know these people as their character, and forget that, beyond that, they are a real person.
Here are some of the most acclaimed actors who passed too soon and maybe didn't get the attention for their passing that was deserved.
(This is a follow-up to my coworker's piece from a couple days ago, so if you think I missed any, they're likely in that article.)
John Ritter - Most recently known from '8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter', among other things
It was way back on September 11, 2003 when Ritter got sick while rehearsing for 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, and he was misdiagnosed at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center after sweating profusely, vomiting, and having chest pains. They thought it was just a heart attack, but the situation heightened when his condition got worse. He was then diagnosed for aortic dissection - he died in surgery six days before his 55th birthday.
James Avery - The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
James Avery of course played Uncle Phil in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, acting as a strong black father figure at a time when there weren't many examples of those. The cause of his death was complications during open-heart surgery. He was a beloved man, and may he rest in peace.
Peter Boyle - Everybody Loves Raymond
Also passing from heart disease, Boyle played the kind of old school, not always politically correct, hilarious and grouchy father on Everybody Loves Raymond. It was one of the most classic sit-coms of all time and he played a huge part. He passed at 71 in 2006.
Bernie Mac - The Bernie Mac Show
Bernie Mac was one of the "Kings of Comedy", and his show, The Bernie Mac Show was simply hilarious. He sadly passed due to complications in the hospital mostly coming from the fact that he had sarcoidosis, a disease of unknown origin that causes inflammation in tissue. He had issues with his lungs. His irreverent comedy style will forever be missed.
Glenn Quinn - The Roseanne Show
Quinn died of an accidental heroine overdose at the young and tragic age of 32 years old. One of Quinn's more visible roles began in 1990 as the character Mark Healy, Becky Conner's boyfriend, and later husband, in Roseanne.
Carol Ann Susi - The Big Bang Theory
The beloved and hilarious Mrs. Wolowitz from [The Big Bang Theory](series:200751), Carol Ann Susi was fighting a fierce battle with cancer before she passed away. The show had no plan to write her off, but improvised with a really special and touching tribute to her on the show.
Cory Monteith - Glee
Monteith tragically died too, of a drug overdose, before he was able to be written off the show. It's always sad to see and hear about people struggling with drug abuse who appear to have it all. Or, at the very least, they have money, success, and fame. It really makes you think that there may be something to consider when it comes to how we treat our famous icons.