DeDe Pritchett on Modern Family died, but how? Shelley Long’s character wasn’t killed

Shelley Long
Shelley Long plays Dede Pritchett on Modern Family. Pic credit: Peter “Hopper” Stone/ABC

DeDe Pritchett was the character on Modern Family who did not make it through the season.

During last night’s special Halloween episode, Claire, played by Julie Bowen, gets an unexpected phone call from her stepfather informing her of her mom’s death.

Her mother, played by Shelley Long, had been on the show a few times and was the mother of Claire and Mitchell, both major characters. However, she was not a major character on the show.

How did DeDe die? Given it was a Halloween episode, many fans expected something scary to happen. Maybe someone got killed? However, the writers chose to make the death a natural one. DeDe Pritchett died peacefully in her sleep.

It was in September that co-creator Christopher Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly that a significant character on the series would not survive the season.

Since there are talks that this current season will be the last one of the series, fans expected it to be one of the major characters, someone who had been on the show as a regular for years.

“We’re handling some bigger life events in this season,” Lloyd revealed back in September, adding, “We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”

When the sudden death was announced on Twitter, people shared their thoughts, and some fans were a little disappointed.

Needless to say, the reactions to DeDe’s death were mixed. While some fans tweeted that they were sad about her death and that they were going to miss her hilarious personality on Modern Family, others were a bit frustrated with the writer’s comments that it was a “significant” character who would die.

Throughout Modern Family’s nine seasons, DeDe Pritchett has only filmed a total of eight episodes, starting back in 2009. She’s also been on the show in 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017 and now 2018. And while she was the mother of Claire and Mitchell, many viewers didn’t exactly class her as a major character.

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on ABC.

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