Faithful Departed — Andy Hallett

(1975 - 2009)

Hallett during better times

I love a good rags-to-riches story. A vampire spin-off is not the usual definition of riches, but for the millions of people who love the Buffyverse, Andy Hallett was a success.

Hallett started his career in Los Angeles as Joss Whedon’s wife’s personal assistant. For those who don’t know, Joss Whedon was the writer, creator and driving force behind the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly — series known for being equal parts camp and brilliant writing.

After Whedon and friends went to see Hallett sing at B.B. King’s in Los Angeles, Whedon conceived of an Angel character written just for Hallett. The character was Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan; a green demon with scaly skin and red horns. However, Whedon never lets first impressions determine what a fictional character can do. (Remember that preternaturally strong teenage Buffy Summers?) Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, or Lorne, could read a person’s thoughts and future when hearing them sing karaoke. With that gift he helped Angel, the vampire with a soul, save lives.

Mostly, Hallett’s Lorne made it easier to deal with subject matter like the end of the world or a broken heart. It is difficult for an actor to embody a character so well that audiences can’t help but smile; Andy Hallett did that while singing Aretha Franklin, on pitch, again and again.

At 33, he died of a heart condition.