What Happened in Real Life: Star and sitcom legend John Ritter died in 2003 from an undiagnosed aortic dissection.What Happened on the Show: After a two-month hiatus, Ritter's character was said to have died following a collapse while shopping for milk at the grocery store. The show only lasted one more season.
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What Happened in Real Life: In 2008, actor Stanley Kamel died of a heart attack between seasons six and seven.
What Happened on the Show: Kamel's character, Monk's therapist Dr. Charles Kroger, also died of a heart attack in an episode dedicated to Kamel. The show lasted for eight seasons and Dr. Kroger appeared in clips in later episodes.
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What Happened in Real Life: Saturday Night Live alum Phil Hartman was shot to death by his wife while he was sleeping in May 1998. The fourth season of NewsRadio had already wrapped at the time of his death.What Happened on the Show: Hartman's character was said to have died of a heart attack in the first episode of season five. Due to poor ratings and reviews, the show only lasted one more season.
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What Happened in Real Life: Actor Will Lee, who played the beloved Mr. Hooper, died of a heart attack in December 1982.What Happened on the Show: An episode called "Farewell Mr. Hooper" acknowledged that Mr. Hooper had passed away, with the other adults explaining his passing to Big Bird. As of 2016, the show is in its 46th season.
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