The Walking Dead actor Scott Wilson dies aged 76

Scott Wilson at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on September 2, 2016 Image copyright Getty Images

Former The Walking Dead actor Scott Wilson has died, according to American TV network AMC.

The veteran actor played the character of Hershel Greene on the show from 2011 to 2014.

In a statement, AMC said that the character he played "lived at the emotional core of the show".

Colleagues and fans paid tribute to Wilson, who starred in around 30 episodes of the The Walking Dead in seasons two, three and four.

Kary Payton, who plays the character of Ezekiel in The Walking Dead, said: "The first time I met Scott Wilson, he gave me a big hug and said that this thing I had become a part of... was a family."

Wilson's character was killed off in series four of the show. But less than an hour before news of his death was made public, showrunner Angela Kang announced that the character of Hershel Greene would be making a reappearance during the forthcoming season nine.

Chris Hardwick hosts an after show, Talking Dead, on AMC and paid tribute to Wilson in a public Instagram post.

"I really will miss him and the gentle, compassionate eyes that gave Hershel so much soul," he wrote. "I am so sad to know that the world is without him tonight."

Wilson, who was born in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, got his first major acting role in the 1967 film In the Heat of the Night.

His performance in the 1974 film The Great Gatsby was also well received.

But in recent years, it was Wilson's portrayal of farm-owner Hershel Greene in The Walking Dead, complete with full grey beard and ponytail, that will be remembered.

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