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The 25 Most Devastating Character Deaths In TV History

23. Lawrence Kutner in House

Portrayed by: Kal Penn
Dies in: "Simple Explanation" (Season 5, Episode 20)

Depending on who you ask, House either portrayed the senselessness and dramatic fallout of a suicide with credible aplomb, or the show reacted to Kal Penn’s desire to leave (and become a White House liaison!) with a meaningless fumble.

Either way, it was a completely unexpected write-out for one of the best, at the time, new additions to the show’s ensemble at Princeton-Plainsboro. We’re going to go with the former, though. Random as it was, the abrupt departure and eerie mystery—there was no note, he showed no signs of depression—struck a cord that was easy to hammer home with powerhouses like Hugh Laurie and Olivia Wilde reacting to it.

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