Which Modern Family Member Died?

Modern Family Dede Dies Dead Death Recap Season 10 Episode 5 Shelley Long

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Modern Family.

Rest in peace, DeDe.

The Dunphy-Pritchett-Tucker family was dealt a serious blow in this week’s Modern Family, when Jay’s ex-wife DeDe died.

The death took place offscreen and was revealed in the episode’s cold open, when DeDe’s husband, Jerry, called Claire, Mitchell and Jay to tell them the bad news. (For the record, she died peacefully, in her sleep, while on a trip with her women’s group.)

In September, when series co-creator Christopher Lloyd announced that a “significant character” on the ABC comedy would expire, he said the event would follow the season’s darker theme of how big life events affect all members of a family.

“[Death] is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject,” Lloyd said at the time. “But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”

Cheers vet Shelley Long made her first Modern Family appearance in Season 1 and returned six more times as the seasons progressed. Her final appearance took place in Season 9’s “Mother!,” when Cam and Mitchell hosted a visiting DeDe and realized she had been manipulating them throughout their entire relationship, though Long’s voice was heard in this week’s episode when Claire played a voicemail her mother left her.

When the death spoiler started circulating, our money was on Phil’s father, Frank, played by Fred Willard. (Oops!) Many of our readers predicted that DeDe (congrats on your ghoulish accuracy!) or Jay’s pup, Stella, would shuffle off this mortal coil.

Now wipe your tears and hit the comments: Did you see DeDe’s death coming from a mile away? How do you think Modern Family handled the event?

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