As The Last of Us debuts its third episode on HBO Max, the game series loses a huge part of what made it great. Annie Wersching, who gave life to the character Tess in the original game, has passed away at the young age of 45. Friends, family, fans, and colleagues are coming from all over the web to mourn her passing and express admiration for her work and her being. Though no one ever knows when their time will come, it’s tragic when it comes too soon and it prompts us to think about the influence they have over our lives.
R.I.P. Annie Wersching
The Last of Us became sensational for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being the characters and the actors who portrayed them. Annie Wersching, who provided both the voice and mo-cap for an important role as Joel’s partner Tess, passed away earlier today. After receiving a cancer diagnosis in 2020, Wersching would fight it to the tender age of 45. As BBC states, she is survived by her husband and their three sons. In addition to her role in The Last of Us, she appeared in a number of shows, including a recurring part in 24 and as the Borg Queen, a major antagonist in Star Trek: Picard.
Although one could consider Tess a minor part of The Last of Us, it is without a doubt an important one. Twenty years after the initial outbreak, a rough and embittered Joel has managed to survive as a smuggler. He works alongside his partner Tess, a hardy woman from Michigan. While a romantic implication between them, what’s more, prominent is the level of trust the two share. It’s clear that Joel has become severely antisocial. It’s also apparent that Tess is the only person that he actually cares about.
Unfortunately, Tess is bitten by an infected shortly after agreeing to escort the immune teenager, Ellie. In her last moments, she expresses belief and Hope in what Ellie represents and pleads with Joel to finish what they started. She then stays behind to delay an armed patrol unit pursuing them, and it is arguably Joel’s profound respect and fondness for Tess that caused him to continue escorting Ellie.
Annie Wersching was a talented actor who touched many stories and lives. Not only as Tess from The Last of Us, but in so many ways, too. Though she leaves us at only 45, the impression she made will endure and inspire.