Modern Family have been teasing a 'significant' death in the Halloween episode of the new series, leading fans to speculate on who will be killed off on the show, with everyone from the family's patriarch, Jay, to the beloved family dog, Stella, being the most popular suggestions. However, it was revealed during the Halloween episode on Wednesday night that it was actually Claire and Mitch's eccentric mother, Dede Pritchett, who sadly passed away.
Dede was played by Shelley Long
Speaking about the decision to kill off Dede, the show's co-create Steve Levitan told Hollywood Reporter: "It occurred to us that death is a giant part of the family experience and while Phil (Ty Burrell) had lost his mother in a previous episode, we've never seen the entire family have to deal with such a loss. It seemed like an interesting thing to have happen." Fans were quick to react to the sad reveal, with one person writing: "Thanks for a great emotional episode. One of the best ever."
However, others felt that they had been misled by the hint that a major character would leave the show, with one writing: "#ModernFamily has never disappointed... until tonight. The death reveal was underwhelming. It also took away from the usual shenanigans that would make the Halloween episode entertaining," while another person added: "Sad to see Claire & Mitchell's mum go but she wasn't a major character. I expected a more dramatic one and it literally happened in the first five seconds." Speaking about the decision to kill off Dede, Steve added: "She's directly involved with three of our characters and she touched everybody's life in some interesting way. It seemed like the right character to put everybody through something. She seemed like right character because she so directly affects so many of our characters."