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Top 10 Characters who die early in a movie (or TV?) (not necessarily unexpected)

Some may think otherwise, but wouldn't include those whose early deaths are well established beforehand in a story in this list (e.g. Thomas/Martha Wayne in Batman Begins or Kal/Lara El in Superman)
Characters whose death early in a movie or tv show is a very significant driver of the plot beyond a simple murder mystery. Characters who continue to play an active role as a ghost or spirit do not count (e.g. Warren Beatty in Heaven Can Wait or Patrick Swayze in Ghost).
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    1Edward Blake/Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Watchmen
    Love the piece of trivia that said Jeffrey Dean Morgan first turned down the role because of the death of his character a few pages into the script before his agent told him to read the whole thing and then decide.
    His death helped reveal the broad impact he had on the lives of all the Watchmen characters despite his questionable amoral personality.
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  • 2Tessa Quayle (Rachel Weisz), The Constant Gardener
    Love and highly suspicious nature of her death drove her husband Justin (Ralph Fiennes) deeper and deeper into a diplomatic and corporate conspiracy that could cost everything.
  • 3Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), Twin Peaks
    The murder that brought Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle Mclaughlin) to Twin Peaks to meet all of its assorted quiky characters.
  • 4Chili Palmer's (John Travolta) boss, Get Shorty
    Chili Palmer was an entrenched enforcer in Florida before his boss's death sent him to Hollywood where he discovered he felt at home in the movie business whose tactics fit his mob experience.
  • 5Dr Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell), I Robot
  • 6Skinny dipping swimmer (Denise Cheshire), Jaws
    Bruce the shark's first victim. So brutally killed, her remains were kept on a tray, setting off a series of events that set the template for future blockbusters
  • 7Alex (Kevin Costner), The Big Chill
    Kevin Costner didn't even have to actually appear in the movie to help gather a bunch of top level actors together for a couple of hours of entertaining talk about their past and current lives.
  • 8The King of Stormhold (Peter O'Toole), Stardust
    His death leads to a King Lear style ruthless battle for succession as well as immortality in the form of a living star (Claire Danes)
  • 9Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), Citizen Kane
  • 10Jamie (Danyi Deats), The River's Edge
  • 11Denny Lachance (John Cusack), Stand By Me
  • 12Azaria, baby daughter of Lindy Chamberlain (Meryl Streep), A Cry in the Dark
  • 13George Robinson, Ray Charles baby brother (Terrone Bell), Ray


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