‘Succession’: Who Did Mark Blum Portray Before Dying From COVID-19?

As HBO heads into Succession Season 3, one actor is missing from the cast, Mark Blum. Although the character he portrayed, Bill Lockhart, is only in two episodes, he is part of a larger plot involving Waystar RoyCo. How will that storyline continue without Bill as part of the Succession Season 3 cast when Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) children continue to fight over the fate of the company?

Succession guest star Mark Blum posing for photographers at the Roundabout Theater in 2005
‘Succession’ guest star Mark Blum | Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Who is Bill Lockhart in ‘Succession?’

Viewers first met Bill Lockhart in Succession Season 3, Episode 4, “Sad Sack Wasp Trap.” As the retiring head of Waystar RoyCo’s Adventure Parks division, he pulled Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) aside to share some information with him. Tom was very excited about his new role in the Parks division until Bill informs him of the cover-up, which becomes a larger plot in season 2. 

Waystar RoyCo covered up numerous allegations of sexual assault by Lester McClintock. Bill’s paperwork to Tom is evidence that the company knew about the problem and did nothing to rectify the situation. There’s also information regarding a potential murder aboard one of the cruises.

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Mark Blum appears again as a guest star in Succession Season 2 Episode 9, “DC.” Tom, Gerri Kellman (J. Smith Cameron), and Kendall (Jeremy Strong) plan to blame Bill when they arrive at their congressional hearing about the Parks division scandal. However, Mark Blum appears as Bill right before they plan to sacrifice him to Congress. Luckily, Shiv (Sarah Snook) convinces the witness to back down. But, that doesn’t stop Bill from reminding Logan Roy that he knows a lot about the company and could write a book if needed. So, if Roy tries to throw Bill under the bus, he will retaliate. 

‘Succession’ guest star Mark Blum died from complications of COVID-19

On March 26, 2020, Mark Blum’s wife, Janet Zarish, told the Hollywood Reporter that the Succession guest star died from complications of the coronavirus (COVID-19). At the time, he was receiving care at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Blum spent much of his life on screen or the stage. Before his time on Succession, he appeared in the Netflix drama, You and Showtime’s Billions. Blum guest starred in The Blacklist Season 3 in 2016. He also made it to the big screen in movies such as Crocodile Dundee and Desperately Seeking Susan.

How will ‘Succession’ Season 3 explain Bill Lockhart’s (Mark Blum) disappearance?

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Since Mark Blum was only a guest star in the cast of Succession, it shouldn’t be too difficult to continue the plot without Bill Lockhart. In the Succession Season 2 finale, Kendall Roy told the press that his father, Logan, knew about the cover-up and did nothing to stop it. Now that the scandal is mostly out in the open, it sounds like Bill doesn’t have any further blackmail to hold against Logan. Although the Roy family might mention Bill’s name again in the series, it wouldn’t be necessary for his character to appear on the screen. 

‘Succession’ Season 3 won’t include COVID-19

Although one of their guest stars died of complications from COVID-19, HBO’s Succession won’t mention the pandemic. Snook explained that the rich people in the drama wouldn’t deal with the virus anyway in an interview with Vulture

“These are really wealthy people,” Snook told the outlet. “And unfortunately, none of the world’s really wealthy people were going to be affected by the pandemic.” 

Series creator Jesse Armstrong had the script for Succession Season 3 written and ready to begin filming before COVID-19 hit in March 2020. He continued with the same plotlines without incorporating the pandemic because the virus didn’t change anything for very wealthy people. 

Succession Season 3 airs on HBO in October 2021. The first two seasons of the drama are currently available for streaming on HBO and HBOMax.