The Walking Dead cast is among the most talented groups of people currently on television, and each and every cast member adds to the wide appeal of the show, helping to make it a monster hit for AMC.
Although the cast is often in flux because of surprising deaths and the like, (damn those walkers) we’ve compiled some general information and need-to-know facts about this exceptionally skilled gaggle of thespians that help bring The Walking Dead to life.
Take a peek below and soak up some intel about leading man Andrew Lincoln, fan-favorite Norman Reedus, gorgeous Lauren Cohan, and more!
Andrew Lincoln — whose full name is Andrew James Clutterbuck — plays protagonist Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead. While Rick is known for his Southern drawl, Andrew was born on September 14, 1973, and hails from the United Kingdom. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Andrew worked in British television for nearly a decade before finding his big break as Mark in 2003's cult-classic, Love Actually.
Andrew continued his acting career in Britain, with starring television roles in Afterlife, Strike Back, and multiple TV movies, before being cast in The Walking Dead in 2010.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter Apple Martin was the flower girl at Andrew's wedding.
Chad L. Coleman was born circa 1966 and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. After a bum leg prevented him from running cross country and track in high school, Chad joined an after school theater program — and the rest is history. After graduation, he moved to New York and began working on The Cosby Show, eventually moving on to roles in Dan Aykroyd's 1990s series Soul Man and the Fox sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter. Chad's big break, though, was his role on The Wire as Dennis "Cutty" Wise, a reformed criminal who sets up a boxing gym for the youth in his neighborhood.
Before joining The Walking Dead cast for the Season 3 mid-season finale, he starred on Broadway in the 2009 revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone alongside TWD co-star Danai Gurira.
Bet You Didn’t Know… At the height of his breakout role as Cutty on The Wire, Chad was still working volunteer shifts at the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn.
Atlanta, Georgia native Chandler Riggs was born on June 27, 1999, and was cast as Carl Grimes on The Walking Dead when he was just 10 years old. He has already been nominated twice for the Young Artist Award as "Best Leading Young Actor" for his work on the AMC hit.
In addition to TWD, Chandler has also appeared in the movies Get Low, The Wronged Man, and Terminus. This kiddo may only be 14, but he certainly has a bright future ahead of him!
Bet You Didn’t Know… Chandler’s first acting role was in the 2006 film, Jesus H. Zombie.
Danai Jekesai Gurira was born on February 14, 1978, and spent much of her childhood in Grinnell, Iowa.
Danai started her acting career on stage. Before joining The Walking Dead cast in 2012, she worked alongside co-star Chad Coleman in August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone.In addition to her theater work, Danai starred in the indie drama Mother of George and two seasons of HBO's Treme.
Coming from Zimbabwean roots, Danai co-founded Almasi, a charity that aids in development of dramatic arts in Zimbabwe.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Danai is also an accomplished playwright; she wrote Eclipsed, and co-wrote the Obie award winning In the Continuum.
David Mark Morrissey may play The Walking Dead’s most hated character (The Governor), but the British actor’s resume goes far beyond the AMC hit that has made him so familiar to American audiences.
Born in Liverpool, England on June 21, 1964, David discovered acting as a child and never looked back. He’s had leading roles in several movies such as Sense and Sensibility, Red Riding, Nowhere Boy and Centurion.
David is also a talented director who has helmed short films and the television dramas Sweet Revenge and Passer By.
He married his partner of over 13 years, novelist Esther Freud, on August 12, 2006 in a ceremony on Southwold Pier. The couple has three children; Albie, Anna, and Gene.
Bet You Didn’t Know… David will next star in the AMC drama, Line of Sight.
Emily Kinney is best known for her role as Beth Greene on The Walking Dead. The Nebraska native — who was born on August 13, 1985 and grew up in Wayne,Nebraska — graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2006 and immediately moved to New York City to pursue an acting career.
In addition to her TWD role, Emily has also had guest appearances on Law & Order: Criminal Intent,Law & Order: SVU, The Good Wife, and The Big C. Emily, a vegetarian, also has a promising music career.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Emily is also an accomplished singer, and she released her first EP, Blue Toothbrush, in 2011. She followed up with a second EP, Expired Love, in 2013.
Though Lauren Cohan was born in Philadelphia on January 7, 1982 and lived in New Jersey for a few years as a child, she later returned to England (where her mother is from) and graduated from the University of Winchester / King Alfred's College where she studied Drama and English Literature.
After graduating, Lauren split her time between London and L.A. juggling several acting jobs. She had small parts in movies such as Casanova and National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, but is perhaps best known for her various television roles.
Before joining The Walking Dead as Maggie Greene in Season 2, Lauren played Bela Talbot on Supernatural and Rose on The Vampire Diaries.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Lauren moved to her mother’s native United Kingdom when she was in her teens.
Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. was born in New York City on September 22, 1971, but moved to Baltimore, Maryland with his family when he was 7 years old. Though he initially studied classical music, he later turned his focus to acting and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Acting Studio, Inc, and the Stella Adler Conservatory.
Lawrence made his film debut as the lead in the independent film Straight Out of Brooklyn, and has appeared in numerous television shows such as Army Wives, Southland, and Detroit 1-8-7.
Lawrence is new to The Walking Dead in Season 4. He plays Bob Stookey.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Before pursuing acting, Lawrence studied classical music at Juilliard.
Melissa Suzanne McBride was born on May 23, 1965 and grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. She began her acting career in the early '90s, but worked as a casting director for the decade leading up to her The Walking Dead role.
Before joining TWD in Season 1, Melissa starred in The Mist, based on the Stephen King novella; and Living Proof, alongside Harry Connick, Jr. and Amanda Bynes. She was promoted to series regular in Season 2.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Melissa played two separate single-episode characters on Dawson's Creek: Nina and Melanie.
Born Norman Mark Reedus in Hollywood, Florida on January 6, 1969, Norman was raised in Los Angeles, California, where he worked at a Harley Davidson shop and as an artist before turning to acting. His first role was in Guillermo del Toro’s horror thriller film Mimic, and additional television and film roles soon followed.
Norman is also an accomplished model who has appeared in campaigns for Prada, Levi’s, and more, and nine music videos including Lady Gaga’s “Judas”.
Norman was in a longterm relationship with supermodel Helena Christensen from 1998-2003 and although they were never married they have one son, Mingus Lucien Reedus, born on October 13, 1999.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Norman was discovered at an L.A. party when he began screaming with giant sunglasses on until someone asked him to be in a play.
Fans of both Once Upon a Time and The Walking Dead may have found it surreal seeing Sonequa Martin-Green as both the mysterious Tamara and the hotheaded Sasha. Born on March 21, 1985, Sasha grew up in Russellville, Alabama and then attended The University of Alabama. Her career has skyrocketed since her 2007 graduation, with roles in Army Wives, Gossip Girl, and The Good Wife.
Sonequa joined The Walking Dead cast in the mid-season Season 3 finale, and along with her on-screen brother Chad Coleman, was promoted to series regular for Season 4.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Sonequa's stage credits include fight choreography for the Murray Schisgal play Luv.
While Steven Yeun holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, it was his time at Kalamazoo College earning that degree that led him to pursue acting. Born on December 21, 1983 in Seoul, South Korea, Steven lived in Troy, Michigan before heading off to Kalamazoo. After his 2005 graduation he moved to Chicago, and eventually joined prestigious comedy troupe, The Second City.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Steven landed the role of Glenn. In addition to sticking with The Walking Dead cast since the very beginning, he's had guest roles in The Big Bang Theory and Law & Order: LA.
Bet You Didn’t Know… Steven was rejected from Kalamazoo College's improv group his freshman year.