Hershel Greene owned the farmhouse where Rick and the other survivors sought asylum after the apocalypse. A recovering alcoholic and a man of faith, Hershel felt obliged to shelter the guests. A veterinarian by trade, Hershel proves invaluable to Rick when his son Carl is accidentally shot. After performing life-saving surgery on Carl, Hershel relates to Rick his belief that everything that's happened is God's work, and that mankind will soon find a cure for the walker disease. Hershel's belief that the undead are just sick is so deep that he has corralled his friends and neighbors who have turned — including his wife and step-son — in his barn. When Shane discovers the walkers and slaughters them, Hershel realizes his mistake. "I was a fool, Rick," Hershel drunkenly laments. "There is no hope." But Rick convinces Hershel that it's important to stay strong — if only to give his remaining family (his daughters Maggie and Beth) a reason to keep going. Hershel's farm is soon overrun with walkers. Though he attempts to make a last stand, declaring, "This is my farm. I'll die here," Rick finally convinces him to flee. After spending the winter on the run, Rick and Daryl stumble onto an abandoned prison and the group decides to make it their new home. While scouting the prison tombs, Hershel is bitten in the leg by a walker and Rick amputates to prevent the infection from spreading. Hershel survives the ordeal and adapts to life on crutches. Despite his physical handicap, he continues to serve the group by providing sage advice during difficult times. When Carl shoots a Woodbury boy fleeing the prison, Hershel presses Rick to become a better role model for Carl by giving up his gun. "It can be different now," he tells Rick, convincing him to start a farm and to teach Carl to cultivate it. When a deadly virus spreads at the prison, Hershel risks his own health to care for the infected, collecting elderberries in the forest and administering them as tea to the sick. As people begin to die, Hershel remains hopeful, insisting on keeping their bodies out of sight of the other infected survivors. ("A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ," he tells Rick.) His faith is tested, however, when several deaths in the sick ward culminate in a walker attack that he must personally stop. Sitting in a cell alone after the attack, Hershel silently weeps. The next day, Hershel is in the woods with Michonne when the Governor attacks and kidnaps them. The Governor explains his plan to use Hershel and Michonne as hostages to convince Rick to leave the prison. Hershel insists they can all live at the prison, but the Governor refuses to listen. Holding Michonne's katana to Hershel's neck at the prison fence, the Governor orders Rick to abandon the prison. When Rick refuses, the Governor swings the sword down, repeatedly hacking at Hershel's neck until he's decapitated.
In a diverse motion picture career that has spanned more than four decades, Scott Wilson has worked with some of the film industry's most admired directors, such as Norman Jewison, Richard Brooks, John Frankenheimer, Robert Aldrich, Jack Clayton, Sydney Pollack, William Peter Blatty, Krzysztof Zanussi, Phil Kaufman, Ridley Scott and Michael Bay. Jewison gave Wilson an early break, casting him as a murder-suspect-proved-innocent in the classic In the Heat of the Night and opening the door for Richard Brooks to cast him in the Truman Capote classic In Cold Blood. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Wilson found his professional destiny when he was taken to Elliot Fayod's acting class by a friend and given a scene from the Eugene O'Neill play The Long Voyage Home. Wilson has also appeared in Phil Kaufman's The Right Stuff, HBO's The Tracker, Walter Hill's Johnny Handsome, John Frankenheimer's The Gypsy Moths, Sydney Pollack's Castle Keep, Robert Aldrich's The Grissom Gang, Jack Clayton's The Great Gatsby, Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, Dale Rosenbloom's Shiloh, Steve Kloves' Flesh and Bone, Christopher Macquarrie's The Way of the Gun, Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane, Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, Krzysztof Zanussi's The Year of the Quiet Sun and Our God's Brother. He also appeared as casino owner Sam Braun on the TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. He received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actor for The Ninth Configuration and an Exemplary Achievement award from the Floating Film Festival, amongst other film festival awards.