Downton Abbey Stars Who Sadly Died

From 2010 to 2015, the hold that "Downton Abbey" had on us was tight. From stunning manors, to luxurious balls, to fashion moments, we were there for and with the Crawley family every step of the way. According to British Heritage, in many ways "Downton Abbey" is historically accurate to the ways of life in the post-Edwardian era. The way that "Downton Abbey" depicted not only an aristocratic family but the lives of their servants as well allowed us to connect with the characters no matter the "class."

And this connection has enabled us to truly empathize with our favorites through the biggest "Downton Abbey" story moments: Cora going through a miscarriage in Season 1, Mr. Bates being sentenced to death in Season 2, Lady Sybil dying during childbirth in Season 3, Matthew Crawley dying in a car accident in the finale of the same season, Anna being assaulted in Season 4, and of course the death of the dowager countess during the most recent "Downton Abbey: A New Era," just to name a few.

Yes, there are many character deaths, but when you cover the lives of people over an almost 20-year span, this fact is not surprising. After all, death is a part of life. The same can be said for the actors that have played a part in the lives of the Crawley family. With Season 1 originally coming out in 2010, and the most recent movie dropping last year, it is only natural that we have lost some of those who brought life to the screen. These are the "Downton Abbey" stars who have sadly died.

Terence Harvey

Terence Harvey is known for playing Mr. Jarvis, the manager of "Downton Abbey" for over 20 years. Most notably on Season 3 of the series, he butted heads with Matthew Crawley after the latter was trying to change things to make them more progressive and modern. In a very heated conversation between Jarvis and Crawley during Episode 7 of the above season, Jarvis argues that he has given, "40 years of loyal service," and by the end of the scene quits with the popular quote, "I'm the old broom, Mr. Crawley. You are the new. I wish you luck with your sweeping" (via YouTube).

Although Harvey was only in one episode of "Downton Abbey," his breadth of work in British television and film spanned decades. He appeared in projects such as "From Hell," "Johnny English," and "Basic Instinct 2," just to name a few.

Harvey, who was born Terence John Humes, died on September 7, 2017. According to his obituary, he is survived by his wife, Jane, his children, Alex and Sophie, and three grandchildren, John, Iris, and Phoebe (per The Times).

Bernard Gallagher

One of the most endearing characters of "Downton Abbey," Bernard Gallagher portrayed Bill Molesley, father to Matthew Crawley's butler, Joseph Molesley. Molesley senior was known for being an amazing gardener in the village of Downton, competing every year at the Downton Village Flower Show, and consequently losing every year to the dowager countess (played by the iconic Maggie Smith). However, in Episode 5 of Season 1, we see the dowager countess realize that she may be given "Best Bloom in the Village," every year not necessarily because she deserves it, and takes herself out of the competition. Bill Molesley is overjoyed to have finally won and tells the dowager countess, "Thank you for letting me have it."

Gallagher's presence as Molesely was sprinkled throughout the series, being mentioned multiple times, and appearing in three episodes. Apart from "Downton Abbey," Gallagher was a stage actor and another staple in British television, appearing in numerous projects such as, "Doctors," "EastEnders," and "Heartbeat."

Gallagher died of pneumonia on November 27, 2016, at the age of 87, having lived a very full life. He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Vickers, and two children, Matthew and Zoe.

Tim Pigott-Smith

Tim Pigott-Smith portrayed Sir Philip Tapsell, the obstetrician who is known to have helped deliver many members of royalty as well as Lady Sybill's baby during Season 3. Sadly his oversight of Lady Sybill's condition adds to the cause of her eventual death in the same episode in which he appears, leaving an impression that is heavily carried in seasons to come.

Despite only appearing in one episode, Pigott-Smith is quite a renowned British actor, having won a BAFTA award for his role in the 1984 dramatic film "The Jewel in the Crown." An esteemed television, film, and theater star, some of his most notable projects include a TV adaptation of "King Charles III" (he also received Laurence Olivier Award and Tony Award nominations for the stage role), "Holby Blue," and "The Hour." According to his agent, he was "one of the greatest actors of his generation" (via BBC).

Piggot-Smith died of natural causes on April 7, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Miles, his son, Tom, and two grandkids, Imogen and Gabriel.

Nicky Henson

Nicky Henson portrayed Charles Grigg, a stage actor who performed with Charles Carson, the Crawleys' butler, in their Cheerful Charlies act. Charlie was a bit notorious on "Downton Abbey," as he first appeared in Season 1 to blackmail Carson, threatening to expose his past if he didn't give him any money. Charlie ended up telling the earl about Carson, to which the earl gave him £20 and told him never to return to Downton. Charlie comes back during Season 4 to make amends with Carson, and the two part as friends.

In addition to appearing in "Downton Abbey," Henson has been a staple in the theater scene, performing at the National Theatre and in the Royal Shakespeare Company, and was notably in the George Clooney film "Syriana."

Henson died on December 16, 2019, at the age of 74, "after a long disagreement with cancer," according to his family (per Deadline). He is survived by his wife, Marguerite Porter, their son, Keaton, two sons from his previous marriage, Christian and Joe, and four grandkids (per The Guardian).

Christopher Rozycki

Christopher Rozycki is originally from Poland and trained in the U.K. He played Count Nikolai Rostov, a Russian refugee who comes to Downton Abbey during Season 5 with a three-episode stint. Count Rostov's storyline is loosely based on the Russian Revolution of 1917, and consequently the imperial government being overthrown. It is apparent through the conversations of the Crawley family that they are sympathizers of the Russian monarchy, and even have ties to the royal family. The latter becomes apparent when the dowager countess admits that she was thinking about leaving her husband for Prince Kuragin. Count Rostov, in particular, has offensive opinions that create tension at "Downton Abbey" during his time there.

In addition to "Downton Abbey," Rozycki had a lengthy TV career in shows such as "Sleepers" and "The Bill," and he starred opposite Alan Rickman in the '90s movie "Truly Madly Deeply."

Tragically, Rozycki died on April 10, 2015, from an accidental fall at the age of 71. He is survived by his wife Joanna Hole and their four children.

Jane Wenham

Jane Wenham played Mrs. Bates, John Bates' mother, in Season 1 of "Downton Abbey." Although she only appeared in one episode, her legacy was definitely felt. When Anna, played by the graceful Joanne Froggatt, is looking for the truth of what happened to Mr. Bates, she goes to his mother for answers. Mrs. Bates reveals that it was in fact her daughter-in-law that was the criminal, not her son. We never see her again, and she ends up dying during the series but leaves John Bates more money than he thought she had.

In addition to being on "Downton Abbey," Wenham was a staple on the stage in London, performing on the West End several times. She also appeared in multiple films such as "An Inspector Calls" and "Make Me an Offer," as well as many TV appearances over the past 50 years.

Wenham died on November 15, 2018, at the age of 90. She is survived by her son, Simon, whom she shared with actor Albert Finney.

Ronald Pickup

Ronald Pickup portrayed Sir Michael Reresby, the quirky owner of the Dryden estate during Episode 3 of Season 6 of "Downton Abbey." Thomas Barrow, played by the sly Robert James-Collier, applies for the open butler position at Sir Reresby's estate, but sadly Barrow was not given the role, for Sir Reresby fears that he is a British Republican.

Pickup is probably one of the most recognizable guest stars on "Downton Abbey," as he starred in big projects such as "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time," "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and its sequel, "The Crown," and "Darkest Hour," just to name a few.

Pickup died on February 24, 2021, at the age of 80. His agent reported that he "passed away peacefully yesterday after a long illness surrounded by his wife and family. He will be deeply missed" (via The Guardian). Pickup is "survived by his wife, Lans Traverse ... and their two children," according to his obituary.

James Greene

James Greene portrayed Sir Mark Stiles in the final episode of the entire series of "Downton Abbey." While Thomas Barrow didn't get the job at Dryden, he was hired by Sir Mark Stiles. However, Barrow wasn't too fond of his new position. No surprise to anyone — because it is Barrow we are talking about — the two seem to butt heads over Barrow's lack of dedication to the post, having the latter push his duties onto other staff members. However, Barrow's position with Sir Stiles is short-lived as he replaces Carson when Carson finally decides to retire in the finale episode (it was about time, Carson).

Although Greene only appeared in one episode of "Downton Abbey," he was another renowned face in the British acting world, appearing in many projects in theater, TV, and film. Greene was most known for his roles  in "Doctor Who," "Johnny English," and even the Amanda Bynes millennial classic, "What a Girl Wants."

Greene died in early January 2021 after a brief illness. His agent remembered him, saying, "He was a great ambassador for his native Northern Ireland" (via Metro).