SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details about Wednesday’s episode of Modern Family.
Fans of Modern Family have been chomping at the bit and guessing which major character from the long-running ABC comedy will die after series co-creator Christopher Lloyd teased a significant death in September. Wednesday night, the guessing game finally came to an end as it was revealed that Jay’s (Ed O’Neill) ex-wife DeDe (Shelley Long) died.
The death happened off-screen and she died peacefully in her sleep while on a trip with her women’s group. During the cold-open of the episode entitled “Good Grief”, Jay broke the news to Claire, Mitchell, and Jay.
Lloyd mentioned in September that Dede’s death “will be a moving event — and an event that has repercussions across several episodes.”
DeDe made her inaugural Modern Family appearance during season one and recurred six times throughout the show’s run. She last appeared in the season 9 episode “Mother!”
The five-time Emmy-winning comedy is currently in its 10th season and is eyeing an 11th. The series also stars Sofia Veragra, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Sarah Hyland, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, and Jeremy Maguire.