The Walking Dead is hands-down one of the most popular series in TV history. The zombie show started in 2010, and immediately amassed a huge fan following. Audiences loved the exciting plots and the rich character development–not to mention the totally gruesome walkers.
The real shining star of the show, however, was the guy who held it all together. Andrew Lincoln brought Rick Grimes to life. Grimes was the sheriff who proved himself to be a natural leader with a huge heart, and a knack for helping anyone in need. Lincoln spent 9 seasons in his most popular role to date, but he did have quite a solid acting career before becoming the star of The Walking Dead. He also had a very different last name…
Andrew Lincoln’s real last name will throw you for a loop…
According to his biography on The Famous People, Lincoln was born in London in 1973—and named Andrew James Clutterbuck. He developed a passion for acting early on and began performing on stage at a young age. After playing Dodger in a production of Oliver!, Lincoln decided he wanted to pursue acting professionally.
He began to focus intently on acting during high school. He spent one summer at the National Youth Theatre, perfecting his skills. After graduating from high school, he went on to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. It was during his time in London that he changed his name, adopting the stage name of Lincoln.
He stole our hearts as Rick in ‘The Walking Dead’
Throughout the 1990s, Lincoln worked to become a recognizable actor on both television and the big screen. He was a part of several unsuccessful TV series, and he played mostly smaller roles in films. In the mid-90s, he secured a leading role in a series called This Life. The BBC series followed the lives of five friends who just graduated from law school and share a home in London. The role was significant for Lincoln, who appeared in 32 episodes of the series.
He continued to act and direct for the next decade, but it wasn’t until 2010 that Lincoln received the role of a lifetime. On Halloween that year, Lincoln appeared on television screens across the country as Rick Grimes, the hero and main protagonist of the zombie apocalypse series, The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes was the role that would make Lincoln instantly recognizable in just a short time.
Lincoln spent nine seasons delivering one powerful performance after another on TWD. The talented actor fully embraced his role, pulling viewers in and connecting with the audience in a way that few actors do. According to Looper, Lincoln doesn’t categorize himself as a method actor, but he does use some of their tactics.
For example, Lincoln continued to speak with Rick Grimes’ southern accent, even when he wasn’t filming. The rest of the cast got used to his bizarre antics on set, and nothing really shocked them anymore. Norman Reedus (who plays Darryl in the series) recalled how Lincoln got so worked up one time that he accidentally punched Jeffrey Dean Morgan (everyone’s favorite baddie, Negan) in the face. Before they rehearsed the fight scene, Morgan had said, “He’s gonna drink a lot of coffee and get super excited — he’s going to punch me in the face.” And he was right.
What has Lincoln been doing since he left ‘TWD’?
It was a sad day when fans learned that Lincoln had decided to leave The Walking Dead. The actor felt it was better for his family if he left the show, as they were living in England while the actor filmed in Georgia. He was constantly traveling back and forth, and his wife and two children would travel to him as well. As his children got older, it was more difficult to find the time for all of it.
So as season 9 approached, everyone knew it would be the last one with Rick Grimes. Fans knew exactly when his last episode would be, but that didn’t make it any easier. The series has definitely changed since his departure, and the whole atmosphere just seems different. Although the series has had several characters come and go throughout the years, Rick Grimes was the heart and soul of the whole story.
Soon after his last episode, fans were ecstatic to hear that Lincoln is now working on three Rick Grimes films. The first movie is supposed to pick up right where we left off when Rick left The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, travel restrictions from the pandemic caused a delay in filming, and Den of Geek says there is still no projected release date for the film.
Aside from his work on the Rick Grimes films, Lincoln has been enjoying some downtime with his family. The actor has a wife and two children, Matilda and Arthur.
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