To put it lightly, "Walking Dead" media is not for the faint of heart nor the squeamish. When it comes to human drama, it's often an emotionally draining and disheartening watch. As for the zombie side of things, it more than brings horror and gore and is just as good at making your skin crawl as it is at convincing you to sleep with the lights on. With that in mind, it's no stretch to say that the "Walking Dead" franchise is far from suitable viewing for children, even though the original AMC series featured its fair share of young actors.
Throughout its 11-season run, put the spotlight on child characters of varying ages. Carl Grimes (), the son of protagonists Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies), is arguably the most well-remembered, but the likes of Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) and sisters Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) more than made their mark on the show. However, it seems that many fans of the long-running program feel a different child actor stands out as the best it ever featured.
Cailey Fleming, the actress behind Judith Grimes, is the "Walking Dead" fandom's pick for the best child actor of its entire run. Here's how the community reached this conclusion.
Interested in the insights of the "Walking Dead" Reddit community, put out a survey asking fans for their opinion on which of the show's child actors was the strongest. Cailey Fleming, Chandler Riggs, Brighton Sharbino, Kyla Kennedy, Katelyn Nacon (Enid), and Cassady McClincy (Lydia) comprised the selections, but only one could win. Of the roughly 1,100 votes, Fleming walked away the victor with a whopping 316 — almost 30% of the overall votes. In the comments, some of her voters stated their case by crediting her for her natural acting ability as well as her consistency with her performances.
Even though she only featured on a handful of "Walking Dead" seasons, Fleming clearly left a strong impression on the show's viewers. At the same time, she's talked about the lasting impact the series' fans have had on her as well as her career, explaining as much in an interview with . "The fans also have a lot to do with the show. We would not be here where we are today without them. I love getting to meet them all the time and I can never thank them enough for having me as their Judith. For accepting me, loving my character, and loving me," she said, adding that she's grateful for the bond she struck up with her fellow "Walking Dead" stars too.
"The Walking Dead" brought Fleming's acting career to a new level, and based on audience reactions to her take on Judith Grimes, she made the most of the opportunity. To say she has potential in the entertainment world would be an understatement.