NEW YORK (AP) — While announcing on Thursday that next season's "Downton Abbey" will be its last, executive producer Gareth Neame declined to say who among the Crawley clan and staff will survive until the series' final fade-out.
But just as with real life, there are no guarantees, which the first five "Downton" seasons vividly displays. Here are five of our favorite (or should we say mourned?) casualties:
— Kemal Pamuk (played by Theo James). A dashing Turkish diplomat visiting Downton Abbey in Season 1, he seduces winsome Lady Mary, then rudely dies in her bed, which leads to a comic yet successful effort to avert scandal and secure Mary's reputation.
— Lady Sybil (played by Jessica Brown Findlay). The Crowleys' youngest daughter, beautiful and headstrong, dies in childbirth in Season 3, leaving the family and staff bereaved and shattering her husband, Tom Branson.
— Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens). Lady Mary's husband and the love of her life, he is killed in a car crash in Season 3 only hours after the birth of his son.
— Michael Gregson (played by Charles Edwards). An editor and publisher for The Sketch, a London magazine, he falls in love with the perennially lovelorn Lady Edith. But a risky scheme to shed his long-institutionalized wife and marry Edith leads to his demise, confirmed in Season 5, leaving Edith loveless yet again.
— Isis (played by Ellie, then Abbie). The family's yellow Labrador retriever, she arrives on the scene in Season 2 (replacing Pharoah, the initial "Downton" pooch, whose doggie derriere continues to grace the series' opening titles posthumously). Sadly, Isis likewise meets her maker in Season 5, succumbing to cancer.