From LA Times Hero Complex:
Rarely is there an upside for an actor to have his character killed off one of the most popular series on television. But when Michael Rooker received the news that his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” was coming to an end, he took some comfort in knowing that another opportunity was waiting in the wings.
The popular character actor has a pivotal role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s epic space adventure that arrives in theaters Friday, playing Yondu, a bandit who is something of a mentor to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord.
“Yondu is a responder, he’s a doer,” Rooker said recently. “He’s the leader of a group of interstellar piracy-type guys and a very paternal figure for Peter Quill. He’s his kid pretty much and he taught him how to get along with alien creatures in space that will eat you.”