Who plays Negan on The Walking Dead?

Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AMC
Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for AMC /

Die-hard fans of The Walking Dead series find it hard to believe that viewers of the show don’t know who the actors are that portray the characters in the series. The die-hard fans know who they are, what else they have starred in, and likely have met them at least one con. One character that is often “Googled” to discover the actor who portrays him is Negan Smith.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan-The Walking Dead_Season 10, Episode 22-Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC /

Negan is a character who has a storyline in the comic, and in the series story was introduced at the end of season 6. He was a character that had been talked about long before he was actually seen in the series, but the majority of viewers knew what to expect when he made his first appearance.

He led a group called the Saviors, who lived in a community called the Sanctuary. This group was founded to restore civilization under Negan’s leadership. They used brute force to control many communities around Washington, DC. Under threats of harm, Negan required the communities to provide food and other goods to the Saviors.

Negan is famously known for his leather jacket, red scarf, and favorite weapon, Lucille, a barbed wire-wrapped bat named after his late wife. He took pleasure in using Lucille to bash in the heads of those who opposed him.

The Walking Dead – Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan

When it was announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was cast to portray Negan, fans were excited, believing he would do the character justice.  Throughout his time on the series, Negan has undergone much growth. He began as a formidable villain, was imprisoned for his crimes, let out to rid the communities of another villain, Alpha (Samantha Morton), and ended up married to Annie (Medina Senghore), expecting a baby, and by the end of the series exiled himself from the main group of survivors.

In the season 10 set of bonus episodes, fans were treated to an origin story, “Here’s Negan,” that showed him before the outbreak and what led him to his life as leader of the Saviors. This episode was a fascinating look at an average man deeply affected by the apocalypse and the heartbreaking death of his wife. This episode was extra special as Morgan’s real-life wife, Hilarie Burton Morgan, portrayed his on-screen wife, Lucille.

The Walking Dead concluded its story in November 2022, but that isn’t the end of Negan’s story. In June 2022, Morgan, along with Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, will continue the stories of Negan and Maggie in a spinoff series, The Walking Dead: Dead City. 

This series will see the duo head to Manhattan as they track down a group led by The Croat (Željko Ivanek) who have abducted Maggie’s son Hershel (Logan Kim). Add to that, Negan is a wanted man. He is being pursued by Marshall Perlie Armstrong (Gauis Charles), who is charged with keeping law and order in a state called New Babylon.

The Walking Dead: Dead City will premiere on AMC and AMC+ on June 18 at 10 p.m. ET.

The Walking Dead: Dead  City synopsis

"The two characters traveling into a post-apocalyptic Manhattan long ago cut off from the mainland. The crumbling city is filled with the dead and denizens who have made New York City their own world full of anarchy, danger, beauty, and terror."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan – other roles

Besides his role as Negan, Morgan is probably best known as the patriarch of the Winchester family in the Supernatural series, John Winchester, and the heartthrob, Denny Duquette, from Grey’s Anatomy. 

Other roles Morgan is known for include, The Unholy, Walkaway Joe, The Postcard Killings, Rampage, The Good Wife, Extant, Texas Rising, and many more.

One of my personal favorites is the dramedy Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, in which he plays the love interest of Catherine Keener—also starring Jane Fonda, Chace Crawford, Elizabeth Olsen, Kyle McLauchlan, Nat Wolff, Rosanna Arquette, and Nat Wolff.

You can also check him out in fellow Walking Dead actress Sarah Wayne Callies’ scripted podcast, Aftershock. 

Other recent projects starring Morgan include Fall, Leopard Skin, and The Integrity of Joseph Chambers, and he will star in the fourth season of The Boys. 

Next, he will star in Neponset Circle with Guy Pierce. This film is a gritty crime thriller based on the actual events of an unsolved murder that occurred in the Boston area.

Morgan is also quite the entrepreneur, co-owning Samuel’s Sweet Shop located in Rhinebeck, NY, and a wine and spirits distributor, MF Libations, with his wife.

Next. The Walking Dead’s Christian Serratos stars in Love Death and Robots. dark

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