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Killed by Request

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Actors usually like the characters they play, otherwise they wouldn't choose to play them...unless it's for money. Even then, some still don't like either their character or the work they're in (or both) enough to be tempted by cold, hard cash, and go on the record saying that they wish their character would be killed off already so that they can quit with no chance of the bus coming back.

Not all the time do the actors express strong dislike for their characters or film, but may give other reasons for wanting to quit. The ultimate reason is usually the same, though, being "I don't want to do this anymore." Sometimes you will get situations when they drag the actor back by creating a Backup Twin. Some actors are also contractually obliged to film their work, with contracts maybe lasting either until their character is killed off, or even after the fact. Similarly, while such a request is often due to the actor disliking the character, occasionally the actor may make this request for artistic reasons, or simply because they want to go out with a bang.

Compare Franchise Zombie, where a creator (such as an author) is forced to continue producing a popular series of works. Can overlap with Bus Crash or Back for the Dead in cases where the character was handed a bus ticket while the producers tried to work things out with the actor.

For characters having to be killed off because the actor unexpectedly leaves, see Actor Leaves, Character Dies if the actor is still alive and The Character Died with Him if the actor passes away. For a character asking to be killed in-universe, see Mercy Kill Arrangement.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


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    Live Action Film 
  • Sigourney Weaver wanted Ripley to do three things in Aliens — not handle a weapon, make love to an alien, and die. She did all three in Alien³. It didn't work, though, as Weaver was persuaded to come back as a xenomorph-hybrid clone of Ripley in Alien: Resurrection.
  • In Black Christmas (2006), Melissa was originally written as having survived. Michelle Trachtenberg, having just finished Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was reluctant to do a horror film, and only agreed on the condition that she be killed off.
  • Three years into filming of Boyhood Lorelei Linklater, daughter of the movie's director Richard Linklater, asked that her character be killed off, however, Richard refused her request saying that it would be too violent.
  • Laraine Day played Nurse Mary Lamont in seven Dr. Kildare movies, but when her career as an A-lister started to take off, she wanted out. So Mary Lamont was tragically hit by a car and killed in Dr. Kildare's Wedding Day.
  • Fist of Fury originally ended with Bruce Lee's character escaping justice, as his real-life counterpart had done. Bruce insisted that he face the consequences of his actions, hence the Bolivian Army Ending.
  • Adrienne King initially turned down the offer to appear in Friday the 13th Part 2 because she was being targeted by a stalker after appearing in Friday the 13th (1980) and as a result requested to be killed off in the sequel.
  • Jamie Lee Curtis only appeared in Halloween: Resurrection because she was contractually obligated to do so for agreeing to star in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later. She requested that her character, Laurie Strode, be killed off in return. Though she did return in a sequel that like H20 ignored the other follow-ups.
  • James Bond:
    • By the end of his run, Sean Connery equally hated both the character of Bond and the experience of playing him. He wanted to have him killed off not only so he wouldn't have to play him ever again, but so that he wouldn't have to see or hear about him ever again, either. Albert R. Broccoli denied him this.
    • Daniel Craig discussed the idea of killing off his Bond early on in his tenure with producer Barbara Broccoli, who refused for a while (he wanted it to happen for Spectre, the film had a Happy Ending instead). It eventually happened at the end of his fifth film, No Time to Die.
  • Duane Jones, who played Ben in Night of the Living Dead (1968), convinced George Romero to have Ben be shot by the redneck "zombie killers" at the end of the film, believing that it would be a more shocking, impactful ending than Ben surviving. History (and countless essays about the ending of the film) has borne him out.
  • Charlton Heston didn't hate Planet of the Apes (1968) or his character, but he wasn't interested in doing a sequel. He only participated in Beneath the Planet of the Apes as a personal favor, but he demanded that they kill him off in the first reel. As a compromise, he disappears at the end of the first reel and reappears at the end, to die in the last reel.
  • Nancy Allen hated the script for RoboCop 3 so much that she agreed to return only on the condition that her character be killed off.
  • Star Trek:
  • Star Wars.
    • Sir Alec Guinness was the one vying for Ben Kenobi to be killed in A New Hope because he thought the films would turn out to be terrible as well as thinking Kenobi was annoying.
      • This has been disputed by other sources, which state that, after filming had started, George Lucas decided to kill off Kenobi, since the character was no longer central to the story after the escape from the Death Star. In this account, Guinness was not happy with the decision and nearly left the production (he did, after all, reappear in both sequels despite his alleged hatred of the films).
    • Harrison Ford also wanted Han Solo killed off in the Original Trilogy. While they considered what to do, the character was literally frozen in between films. Eventually, Ford got his wish in The Force Awakens, the first movie of the Sequel Trilogy.
  • The first draft of Triple Frontier killed off someone unimportant, until Ben Affleck suggested that his character die instead.
  • Johnny Depp accepted to reprise the role of Tom Hanson in 21 Jump Street at the condition of killing the character.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand: On hearing that Bryan Singer would not be directing the movie, James Marsden, who played Cyclops, requested that his character be killed off. His petition was successful and he was killed off at the beginning of the film.

    Live Action TV 
  • 24 had at least two actors who requested their characters to get killed off. In Season 3, actress Vanessa Ferlito, who plays Claudia, was committed to filming Man of the House. In Season 6, actor Eric Balfour, who played Milo Pressman, a recurring character from Season 1, specifically requested to get killed off in the show so he could film another TV pilot with Dean Cain.
  • Averted on Star Trek: Voyager: Robert Beltran hated playing Chakotay and expressed a preference to not be on the show anymore, demanding more and more money in the hopes that they'd get rid of him; instead, they kept meeting his demands to the point where he was forced to continue.
  • The Brady Bunch: Robert Reed (actor) hated everything about the show except the kids playing the young Bradys. This led to him and producer Sherwood Schwartz butting heads on numerous occasions. And in fact, had The Brady Bunch not been cancelled Schwartz actually planned to kill off Mike Brady over the summer hiatus so he'd be gone for the sixth season and beyond.
  • One of the most famous examples in British TV is Gareth Thomas, who played the titular hero Roj Blake in Blake's 7. He left at the end of the second season, when the character was Put on a Bus, but got fed up when he was called back for a second return appearance in the final episode of the fourth season. Unaware that it would turn out to be the last episode of the show anyway, he refused to do it unless he was absolutely and unambiguously Deader than Dead at the end, and actually conspired with the effects team to make it one of the bloodiest TV shootings of the era, with so many Squibs being loaded onto his chest and stomach that it narrowly avoided breaching contemporary taste and decency standards and left him with slight physical injuries when they all went off.
  • On Glee, Dianna Agron instead liked her character, Quinn, so much that she didn't want her to get all the bad storylines or Character Derailment and for her acting to become a laughing stock, so wanted her to die during the third season when she gets hit by a truck. Of course, she actually wanted Quinn to die but the creators seemed to compromise by having her survive, but letting her end the season recovered both from the crash and the crazy plots before she was allowed to Graduate from the Story, with Agron then reprising her role sporadically all the way to the final episode.
  • Roman Wilhelmi, who played the role of the tank commander in the Polish series Czterej pancerni i pies (Four Tank-men and a Dog), apparently found the character bland, so once a Written-In Infirmity plot was written where the tank is hit and the crew ended up in the hospital, he asked to become a fatality instead.
  • Mitchell, the vampire protagonist of the first three series of Being Human (UK), was staked through the heart in the final episode of series 3, which also established that staking would destroy a vampire so thoroughly that there could be no possibility of them resurrecting. Reportedly, this was because Mitchell's actor, Aiden Turner, had a scheduling conflict between the show and filming for The Hobbit, and had asked to be killed off in a way which meant he wouldn't be expected to return.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Denise Crosby, who played Tasha Yar wasn't interested in continuing with the series, and requested to be killed off during the first season. She later regretted this choice and came back as a guest star several times.
  • Mr. Eko dies early in Season 3 of Lost because Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was uncomfortable in Hawaii and wanted to leave the show. (he previously signed a one season deal, but was kept a while longer to give some space after the character death of another such member of the cast, Michelle Rodriguez)
  • Averted at the last minute on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Male lead Joe Lando wanted to leave after the 5th season, so it was planned that his character (Sully) would die falling down from a cliff. But a massive backlash from the fans made it necessary for everybody to re-think this decision. So in the end, Sully survived. But to make a compromise with actor Joe Lando, he was free to only appear in half of the episodes in the 6th season (which also turned out to be the show's last).
  • It's been reported that Anya, the only regular character to die permanently in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer finale "Chosen", was selected because Emma Caulfield had no interest in playing the character again in any other series within the franchise. (Spike's death was known by the entire audience to be impermanent, as his status as a regular character in the next season of Angel had already been announced.) This would be rather ironic and rather moot considering none of the actors (Once again, save Spike) would reprise their roles past the series ending.
  • In Supernatural, Rachel Miner had to leave the series because she suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. Her character the demon Meg was killed off at her request despite the fact that demons can change vessels (and Miner was Meg's second actress).
  • As Angel's finale approached, Joss Whedon asked Alexis Denisof what he should do with his character Wesley. It was his suggestion to kill Wesley off in the finale.
  • Jessalyn Gilsig asked to be killed off of Vikings because she could no longer cope with the long filming periods in Ireland away from her family.
  • Eureka: After The Artifact story was abruptly concluded after Season 2, Ed Quinn asked to have Nathan Stark die, because his character arc was heavily tied into The Artifact, and without it Nathan had nothing left to do.
  • Miami Vice: John Diehl (Larry Zito) was written out midway through the third season, via a plot that was motivated by his character dying of a forced drug overdose. While popular opinion suggests he left specifically because he "didn't like Miami", didn't get along with the cast or wanted to pursue theater, Diehl would later tell the Florida Sun-Sentinel in 1986 that his character being the designated Plucky Comic Relief, and not being given any worthwhile plotlines (a problem that would plague his co-star, Michael Talbott), primarily motivated his decision to leave.
  • Midway through the final season of the series version of Fame; the Very Special Episode "Go Softly Into Mourning"; but wanted to involve a major character instead of writing in a new character to be then killed off. By a bizarre coincidence, Nia Peeples (who played the role of Nicole Chapman) was preparing to leave the series to launch a recording career of her own and gave her permission to kill Nicole off by way of a Drunk Driver; which the writers did and according to series writer Michael Hoey's 2009 book on the series "Inside Fame on Television"; the writers soon regretted killing the Nicole Chapman character off.
  • Johnny Yong Bosch wanted to kill off Adam Park when he reprised his role for Power Rangers in Space and Power Rangers Operation Overdrive because he thought it would be cool to do. He got rejected both times.
  • Lucifer: Kevin Alejandro was the one who suggested that Dan be killed off before the series finale (back when it was still the end of Season 5) since he felt it was the only way to end his redemption arc. The sixth season eventually brought Dan back as a ghost so Alejandro could still be part of the show and finish off the arc after all.
  • Tuco Salamanca's death in Season 2 of Breaking Bad was requested by his actor Raymond Cruz, due to his discomfort in playing a dangerous Psychopathic Manchild drug lord with a Hair-Trigger Temper for an extended period of time. He did reprise the role in the show's prequel series Better Call Saul, but similarly requested that Tuco be Put on a Prison Bus so that he didn't have to play a major role in the show's events.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • After the firing of his friend and frequent collaborator Frank Darabont, Jeffrey DeMunn asked to be written out of the show in protest. He later had second thoughts, but production was too far along to save him as his character was now being killed off and his storylines being given to other characters.
    • Both Tom Payne and Xander Berkeley hated their repetitive minor roles in Season 8 and asked Season 9's new showrunner Angela Kang to either give them something interesting to do (as well as something to do in general), or kill them off to help the narrative. Kang picked the latter, having their characters killed off, though Berkeley was likely on his way out anyway given his character died at the equivalent of Season 9 in the comics.
    • Christian Serratos pushed for Rosita to die in the series finale to give the episode an emotional punch to go with most of the other characters getting a happy ending. She also wanted proper closure on the character after playing her for such a long time.

    Web Video 
  • The actor who played Ben Dover in Economy Watch requested for his death.