What happened to Sharon on Major Crimes? The Sudden Farewell of Mary McDonnell Left Fans in Shock

Major Crimes, a spinoff of The Closer, spotlighted the Major Crimes division of the Los Angeles Police Department under the leadership of the astute Captain Sharon Raydor, portrayed by Mary McDonnell.

Sharon’s composed demeanor and sharp intellect made her an indispensable figure, leaving fans invested in her journey throughout the series.

From Spinoff to Standalone

Following The Closer’s successful seven-season run, Sharon Raydor transitioned from a supporting character to the main protagonist in Major Crimes.

The series continued its predecessor’s legacy of stellar performances, making its eventual cancellation after six seasons all the more surprising. Yet, it wasn’t merely the show’s end that shocked viewers; it was the abrupt and unexpected death of its central character, Sharon Raydor.

The Heart of the Matter

Sharon’s fate was subtly hinted at throughout Major Crimes’ sixth season. As episodes progressed, it became evident that Sharon was grappling with underlying health concerns.

What happened to Sharon on Major Crimes
Sharon Raydor

In a poignant episode titled “Sanctuary City: Part 4,” Sharon’s heart issues were brought to the forefront, casting a shadow over her impending nuptials with Detective Andy Flynn, played by Tony Denison.

Despite her medical condition, Sharon pressed on with her wedding plans, highlighting her resilience and dedication.

What happened to Sharon on Major Crimes?

Sharon died on Major Crimes in 2018 of Season 6. However, fate had other plans for Sharon. In the subsequent episode, “Conspiracy Theory: Part 4,” tragedy struck.

During an intense interrogation scene, Sharon collapsed, leading to her abrupt hospitalization.

The subsequent revelation of her passing left fans devastated, especially as hopes for a dramatic twist were shattered.

Sharon’s swift burial episode focused on the team’s pursuit of a notorious adversary, emphasizing the show’s emphasis on closure.

Behind the Curtain

Creator James Duff’s decision to conclude Sharon’s arc prematurely was rooted in a desire for the character’s shadow to loom large over the series’ final episodes.

He believed that ending the series on such a somber note, especially with Sharon’s death, would have been too bleak.

By allowing viewers and characters a window to grieve, Duff aimed to strike a balance between closure and reverence for Sharon’s legacy.

Credits and Controversy

Beyond Sharon’s unexpected exit, another decision stirred controversy. Mary McDonnell, who had been prominently featured in the show’s opening credits since its inception, found her name conspicuously absent in the episodes following Sharon’s demise.

While such changes are commonplace in television, the timing of this alteration, coupled with the fans’ raw emotions, intensified the backlash.

McDonnell, reflecting on this period, admitted her surprise at the credit change. In solidarity with disappointed fans, many of whom expressed their discontent on social media, McDonnell and her supporters changed their profile images to honor Sharon’s memory.

The profound impact of Sharon’s death resonated deeply with both fans and the cast, marking a poignant moment in McDonnell’s illustrious career.

Mary McDonnell’s Life Beyond Major Crimes

Although Sharon Raydor’s chapter in Major Crimes concluded, Mary McDonnell’s acting journey continues to flourish.

With an extensive repertoire that spans iconic roles, McDonnell’s versatility has been showcased in films like Independence Day, where she portrayed the First Lady, and the critically acclaimed Dances with Wolves alongside Kevin Costner.

Her recent endeavors include lending her voice to The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf and an anticipated role in Mike Flanagan’s Netflix horror series, The Fall of the House of Usher.

In essence, while Sharon Raydor’s unexpected departure from Major Crimes left an indelible mark on fans and the television landscape, Mary McDonnell’s illustrious career continues to thrive, ensuring her enduring legacy in the entertainment industry.

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