1977 – 2023
The entertainment world is in mourning after hearing the sad news that Annie Wersching, who portrayed the much-loved character of Tess in Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, passed away on Sunday, January 29. She was 45.
Wersching was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1977 and pursued the dramatic arts at an early age, training as an Irish stepdancer throughout her schooling before transitioning to the world of the theater during her college years, eventually earning a BFA in Musical Theater in 1999. Wersching’s on-screen debut came about in 2002, with an appearance in Star Trek: Enterprise, which would lead to a steady stream of television work, including bit roles in shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Birds of Prey, Frasier, Killer Instinct, Boston Legal, Castle, Runaways, and Supernatural.
In the televisual world, Wersching is best known for her portrayal of FBI agent Renee Walker in the seventh and eighth seasons of 24, and as rookie cop Julia Brasher in Bosch. In a strange irony, Wersching’s career would come full circle, and her final TV role sees her return to the Star Trek franchise, playing the Borg Queen in the second season of Picard. Wersching was diagnosed with an unspecified cancer in 2020, but continued to work, keeping the news to herself and her acquaintances.
In the video game sphere, Wersching will forever be immortalized for her vocal/motion-capture performance as Theresa “Tess” Servopoulos in The Last of Us. As protagonist Joel’s smuggling partner — as well as his psychological rock — Tess’s role is minor, but essential. And while the no-nonsense survivor is, ultimately, unable to join Joel and Ellie on their journey, it is her dedication, pragmatism, and hope for humanity’s future that spurs Joel to continue.
Tess’ strength holds influence over the entire adventure, despite not being part of the odyssey herself. And it is through Wersching’s excellent performance that this is made apparent, cementing Tess as an indelible part of The Last of Us legacy, and making her a favorite character of fans everywhere.
Annie Wersching is survived by her husband and their three sons. We at Destructoid offer our sincerest condolences to her family and friends.