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Downton Abbey’s Sybil Crawley and More Shocking TV Deaths (VIDEO)

Farewell, Sybil Crawley. The youngest daughter joined the ranks of Dexter’s Rita Morgan and more.

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Mrs. Landingham, ‘The West Wing’

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Beloved by viewers as President Bartlet’s no-nonsense secretary, Dolores Landingham (Kathryn Joosten) had a history of delivering important speeches that reminded viewers not to underestimate her. So fans were disheartened when Bartlet’s aide Charlie Young announced that Mrs. Landingham had been killed by a drunk driver in her first-ever new car. The death of such a close friend caused Bartlet to spiral into depression—and question whether he should run for reelection, thus giving the second season a cliffhanger ending. Despite being only a bit player in the show, Landingham’s death inspired a California politician to ask for a moment of silence in the state assembly to honor her. Joosten, for one, expected the turn of events even before she read the script. “There’s only one reason you get called into the producer’s office and that’s because they’re going to kill you off.” Executive producer Thomas Schlamme insisted the character’s death was “not done cavalierly,” but he and creator Aaron Sorkin were shocked at the reaction by so many fans. In a review later, the A.V. Club called the episode’s final moments ones that would be “seared in my brain.”

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