The actor responsible for bringing Tess to life in The Last of Us, Annie Wersching, passed away over the weekend, leading their fellow Naughty Dog cast members to pay tribute online.
It was announced over the weekend that actor Annie Wersching had passed away have been suffering from cancer since 2020. Wersching was primarily known for their work in Star Trek: Picard and 24, but was also widely recognized for their work as Tess in Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, providing voice acting and motion capture for the character.
Shortly after the news broke, several of Wersching's The Last of Us cast mates -including Joel actor Troy Baker and series creator Neil Druckmann - took to Twitter to share their condolences to Wersching's family and share their memories with the actor. "Just found out my dear friend, Annie Wersching, passed away," Druckmann writes (opens in new tab), "we just lost a beautiful artist and human being. My heart is shattered. Thoughts are with her loved ones." The developer then linked to the GoFundMe campaign set up to support Wersching's children.
In a follow-up tweet, Druckmann also shared (opens in new tab): I miss my silly friend who helped bring Tess to life. Annie, you left us way too soon. You will forever be part of the TLoU & Naughty Dog family!" along with several behind-the-scenes shots of Druckmann, Baker, Wersching, and Ellie performer Ashley Johnson in the mo-cap studio.
I miss my silly friend who helped bring Tess to life. Annie, you left us way too soon. You will forever be part of the TLoU & Naughty Dog family! 💔 TLoU fans… let’s show what we’re made of. Please consider donating to her kids’ gofundme: https://t.co/3QTnZtBY4B pic.twitter.com/baNHc1wdCTJanuary 29, 2023
"Annie, so much of Tess is what you imbued into the character," Troy Baker writes (opens in new tab), "your strength is her strength and in some way, you live on in not only her but the many roles you brought to life." The official Naughty Dog Twitter account (opens in new tab) also paid tribute to Wersching by tweeting: "We at Naughty Dog are deeply saddened to hear of Annie Wersching's passing. We keep her in our hearts and memories, and we hope that her family may find peace during this time."
It isn't just the people who worked with Wersching who have been paying their respects. Several The Last of Us fans have also taken to Twitter to share their favorite Tess moments, praising the actor's performance as the post-apocalyptic smuggler.
Rest in Peace, Annie Wersching. I’ll always remember her impactful performance as Tess in The Last of Us. pic.twitter.com/tSg7U0Zy0QJanuary 29, 2023
I come back to watch this particular performance by Annie Wersching regularly. She brought Tess to life in every way. Words can’t quite comprehend. Love to her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/uoglRzq7hZJanuary 29, 2023
Craig Mazin, the showrunner of HBO's The Last of Us tv show has also released a joint statement with Druckmann about Wersching's passing to Reddit (opens in new tab). "Even though the HBO show is a new iteration of The Last of Us, our storylines, worlds, and lives have become inextricably linked. We are a blended TLOU family now, and when tragedy strikes, we all feel it," Mazin writes. It's then revealed that The Last of Us episode 3 will be dedicated to Wersching, however since the episode has already aired, this will be added at a later date.
If you'd like to pay respects to Wersching's family, consider donating to the actor's dedicated GoFundMe campaign (opens in new tab).