‘The Walking Dead’: Past And Present Stars Say Emotional Goodbye to Andrew Lincoln Ahead Of His Final Episode

The cast of “The Walking Dead” is getting ready to say goodbye to Rick Grimes.

While fans will find out on Sunday’s episode of the zombie drama just how Rick will depart the series, his co-stars are already missing the man behind him: Andrew Lincoln.

“TWD” released a sweet thank you video to the actor on Friday, including farewell messages from past and present stars of the show.

“Like, one of my best friends ever. He’s very, very dear to me,” Norman Reedus sweetly says in the clip. “And he’s taught me to be a better father, a better friend, a better actor.”

“There is no ego, and he has no ego,” Alanna Masterson adds.

Josh McDermitt chimed in with a touching story about how Lincoln went above and beyond to welcome him to the show in season four. “The very first time I met him, he wasn’t even working, and he came down an hour south of where he lived just to meet me and Michael Cudlitz and Christian Serratos. And I thought, ‘Wow, what a great guy,'” he confesses.

“I really do think he’s the best leading man on television. And I haven’t worked with everybody, but I just believe that” Lincoln’s onscreen love, Danai Gurira, shares.

The video also features surprise appearances from past stars IronE Singleton, Cudlitz, Austin Nichols. Lennie James, Steven Yeun, as well as Sonequa Martin-Green and the late Scott Wilson. Watch below.

Lincoln confirmed he’d be leaving “The Walking Dead at San Diego Comic-Con in July, announcing that Rick’s last appearance would be in season nine.

“TWD” showrunner Angela Kang revealed to ET at the show’s season nine premiere that Lincoln had a say in how his character left the show.

“You know, we start with the writers’ room and try to figure out the story, thinking about the themes, but of course we had so many great conversations with Andrew,” she said. “He’s been amazing this season as he has been this entire journey on the show. I can say that I think that the send-off is incredibly emotional. It’s filled with twists and turns, it’s epic and so I’m really excited to share that with the fans even though we will miss Andrew and Rick. I hope that we’ve done service to that story.”

See how Lincoln teased his final episode to ET in the video below. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.

More from ET:

‘The Walking Dead’: One Character Loses an Arm — How It Pays Tribute to Rick Grimes (Exclusive)

‘The Walking Dead’: Everything We Know About Andrew Lincoln’s Final Episode (Exclusive)

‘Walking Dead’ Star Andrew Lincoln Talked About Leaving Before His Exit, Chandler Riggs Says (Exclusive)

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