76-year-old American actor Jeffrey P. DeMunn played Dale Horvath on two seasons of The Walking Dead. His character died in the Season 2 finale, which marked a major turning point in the show as he was the moral compass for his group.
The Walking Dead is an American horror drama that ran from 2010 to 2022. It focuses on a chaotic and order-less post-apocalyptic world where human survivors must deal with the murderous zombies known as Walkers. Dale Horvath was one of such survivors, and even though his stint on the show was short, he remains evergreen.
Who is Dale Horvath in The Walking Dead?
Dale Horvath is one of the supporting characters in Seasons 1 and 2 of The Walking Dead. The character appeared in six episodes in season 1 and 10 episodes in season 2. Dale Horvath is a retiree who has suffered numerous personal losses, including the death of his wife due to cancer. He and his wife also lost a child to a miscarriage and didn’t have any more kids.
Following his wife’s demise, Dale is depressed. When the zombie apocalypse happens, he luckily survives and sets off in the RV that he formerly purchased for a trip with his wife. As the remaining human survivors split into various groups, Dale winds up with Rick’s group, and they use his RV for transport.
Dale stands out as the voice of reason for the group, always beseeching them to do the right thing. For instance, when a young man named Randall reveals that he participated in raping two girls before their dad, Rick’s group apprehends him and decides to kill him in retribution. Dale Horvath, however, pleads with them not to lose their humanity by deliberately killing another human being.
Who Plays Dale in The Walking Dead
Award-winning American actor Jeffrey DeMunn portrayed the role of Dale in The Walking Dead. DeMunn is a native of Buffalo, New York, and was born on the 25th day of April 1947. He studied English in college before heading out to the United Kingdom to train professionally as a theatrical actor.
This training took two years, and DeMunn returned to the U.S. in 1972 and kicked off his career in earnest. He participated in several theatrical productions over the next couple of years and scored a Tony Award nomination for his efforts.
A triple-threat actor, Jeffrey DeMunn has also made a name for himself on big and small screens. His movie credits include The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, and Citizen X, a 1995 TV film for which he won the CableACE award for best-supporting actor in a movie or miniseries.
DeMunn’s best work on TV includes Mob City, Billions, and of course, The Walking Dead. He received good reviews for his portrayal of Dale Horvath with all its nuances.
Jeffrey DeMunn and Dale Hovarth Age Comparison
Jeffrey DeMunn is more than a decade younger than the character that he portrayed in The Walking Dead, Dale Horvath. Dale was born in 1946 and is 64 years old in The Walking Dead. His age does not change, perhaps due to his short stint on the show.
On the other hand, Jeffrey DeMunn was born in 1947. By the time he appears in The Walking Dead in Season 1 (2010) and Season 2 (2011), he is 53 and 54 years old, respectively, which makes him a decade younger than his Walking Dead character.
He, however, did a good job of portraying the good-hearted pensioner, as his mature looks can also pass for someone in his 60s. Of course, there is no discounting what he brought to the role with his acting talent, as it wasn’t just about looks.
Does Dale Die in The Walking Dead?
Dale died in The Walking Dead TV series. This is in consonance with the sourcebook upon which the highly-successful TV show is based. The Walking Dead is based on a series of comics of the same name penned by Robert Kirkman.
The character of Dale Horvath appears in both the TV series and the comics and also died in both. However, there is a variance between the comics and the TV series as to the period when the death occurred. Dale died early in the TV series, Season 2, but his death occurred much further back in the comics, issue No. 66.
When Does Dale Die in The Walking Dead?
Dale died in Season 2, Episode 11 of The Walking Dead. It is an episode that best showcases what he stands for, the level-headed member of the group who always tries to do what is right. The group captures Randall, a young man traveling with other armed young men who have carried out nefarious crimes such as rape.
Many members of Rick’s group decide that Randall should be killed for his crimes but not Dale. He believes that they still have to hang on to the remaining shreds of their humanity and advocates that Randall should be spared. While pleading for another person’s life, Dale’s death was imminent without him knowing it.
How Does Dale Die in The Walking Dead?
Dale was killed by a random walker/zombie in The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 11. Carl was the first member of the group to encounter the walker when it was stuck in muddy waters. He throws stones at it until the walker manages to untangle himself. The walker comes after Carl and the young dude runs away.
Later at night, Dale is frustrated by his inability to convince his pals to spare Randall’s life. He walks off into a field, and the same Walker Carl encountered attacks him. The walker gores him in the stomach until Daryl arrives and fights it off.
However, it is a bit too little too late, as Dale’s injuries are very serious. It is obvious that he will die and turn into a walker, and so after some debate, Daryl works up the courage to shoot Dale in the head so that he won’t come back as a zombie.
Dale’s death in The Walking Dead was quite painful for his group members, and in his honor, they granted a request that he had long sought and spared Randall’s life. Beyond the pain caused, Dale’s death has been described as marking a profound shift in The Walking Dead. He was the moral compass, and once he died, his group members, while remaining decent human beings, also showed their dark side.