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Tragic Details of The Gilmore Girls Cast


“Gilmore Girls” was one of the most popular shows of the early 2000s, running from 2000 to 2007. Despite premiering over 20 years ago, the show is as popular as ever due to Netflix and the “Gilmore Girls” reunion series dubbed “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” It’s the ultimate cozy comfort TV show for veteran fans and those who just got introduced to it. 

“Gilmore Girls” launched many celebs to stardom, including Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham, and most notably movie star Melissa McCarthy. However, despite reaching success, these stars have also had to deal with their fair share of tragedy.

Edward Herrmann’s death devastated everyone

Playing the memorable role of Richard Gilmore, Edward Herrmann played a grandfather who adored his granddaughter Rory. He was beloved by all the cast, who shared an unbreakable bond with each other. Herrmann shocked everyone when he passed away at 71 from brain cancer in 2014. He had kept the cancer a secret, and not too many of the cast members were aware of it.

Lauren Graham’s eating disorder

Graham looked fantastic during her time on the show, but came at a cost. Despite Rory and Lorelei being obsessed with junk food and take-out while remaining slender, the reality was very different. In a 2011 interview with, Graham revealed that she had been on a diet since she was a young child and admitted that society’s expectations surrounding women’s weight led her to eating disorders. In one of her memoirs, she further discussed how being skinny didn’t equate to being healthy.

Melissa McCarthy speaks about an acting job so toxic it made her sick

Although she’s very successful today thanks to her role as Sookie St. James, she hasn’t always had the best on-set experiences. She opened up to The Guardian about working for an employer that was so hostile and volatile that it made her physically sick. She added that people she worked with frequently cried and were upset by a tyrannical and manipulative leader who often fired people she loved. Eventually, she spoke up and vowed never to remain quiet again.

Lauren Graham’s mom died from cancer

In 2005, Lauren Graham’s mother passed away in 2005 at 61. Although Lauren was separated from her mother for several years after her parents’ divorce, they forged a healthy relationship later on. Still, they didn’t have nearly enough time together as her mother, Donna, passed away from cancer.

Brian Tarantina died from an overdose

Playing the role of Bootsy, who was often seen in feuds with Luke, Brian Tarantina made us all laugh in the seven episodes he appeared in. He went on to successful roles like playing Jackie in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” but sadly passed away in 2019 at 60 years old. The case was an overdose on substances like heroin, diazepam, cocaine, and fentanyl, and the Mrs. Maisel creators paid tribute by giving him a moving funeral scene and heartfelt eulogy on the show. 

John Padalecki’s major car accident

Starring in shows like “Supernatural” and “Walker,” John Padalecki experienced plenty of achievements in his career. However, when he was filming in Texas in 2022, he got into a serious car accident. He was in the passenger seat, while his cousin was behind the wheel. Padalecki was lucky to be alive and tweeted that he would hope to return to filming later that week. 

Liz Torres struggled with her health for years

Playing the hilarious Miss Patty, Liz Torres played the dance teacher in Stars Hollow. In the years between the original “Gilmore Girls” and the reunion, Torres looked noticeably different. Although the show doesn’t discuss her weight, the actress is honest in interviews. In 1991, she told the LA Times that her weight had always fluctuated, and she was constantly battling weight gain. Sadly, she also revealed that she was treated worse when she weighed more. 

Scott Patterson felt uncomfortable and objectified in a “Gilmore Girls” scene

Although “Gilmore Girls” intended to fight stereotypes and tropes, there were some things it didn’t get right. In a Season 3 episode, when Luke was assessing fire damage, Sookie and Lorelei stood behind him and made jokes about his “great butt.” Patterson said he felt he was being treated like an object and called it “infuriating” and made him feel embarrassed, saying he wished he could have spoken up. 

Chad Michael Murray almost died as a teen 

Playing Tristan Dugray on “Gilmore Girls,” Chad Michael Murray’s character was a certified bad boy. He also played prominent roles in shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill,” but this heartthrob didn’t always have things so good. When he was 15 years old, his intestines twisted, and he started to bleed internally. While recovering, he found solace in movies and TV shows, which inspired him to pursue acting. 

Sally Struthers was held up at gunpoint during her charity work

This Emmy Award winner has been in plenty of shows, but she’s also a philanthropist who worked as an ambassador for Save the Children for almost four decades. When she traveled to Uganda to meet a child she was sponsoring, she was ambushed in an act of guerrilla warfare. The men thought that since the child’s village was far away, her group had kidnapped him, and they were going to shoot Struthers and everyone she was with. 

The “Handmaids Tale” dark storylines were too much for Alexis Bledel

Bledel’s post “Gilmore Girls” career took a dark turn when she played Ofglen/Emily Malek in “The Handmaid’s Tale.” In 2021, Bledel announced that she was stepping away after several series. While the real reason wasn’t revealed, Bledel had been quoted saying that filming certain scenes made her feel sick to her stomach, but the fact that it was a cautionary tale helped her persevere.