There’s nothing more confusing than to tune into a show after a long time, only to find out that one of our favorite characters is no longer in it. While some people just forget about them, the most curious fans would obviously look to find out whatever happened to the character, sometimes ending up with more questions than answers.
Such a thing happened to fans of “Blue Bloods” character Linda Reagan, whose sudden exit from the series years ago is still baffling to some.
If you’re one of those fans, then keep with us to know why Linda isn’t in the series anymore, and what actress Amy Carlson is doing now and so much more!
What Is Amy Carlson Doing Nowadays?
Ever since leaving “Blue Bloods” in 2017, Amy Carlson has focused on many acting projects for TV and the big screen. She has appeared in drama series’ such as “The Village”, “The Society” and in the crime police drama “FBI: Most Wanted”, on top of appearing in the films “A Bread Factory” and “The Letter”. As if that hasn’t been enough, Amy has actively been creating music with her band Office Romance.
Did you watch Amy's 'FBI Most Wanted' debut yesterday ? I want your reviews!! 🙏 #cbsfbimostwanted
Regarding her experience working during the pandemic, Amy opened up about the lack of proper production conditions during the COVID-19 lockdown: ‘Actors are all being asked to self-tape, and a lot of it comes out of their own pocket’, she said on her personal blog, also revealing that it was a challenging experience altogether: ‘I feel for young actors having to do this on their own. I’ve been doing it for a long time, and it’s certainly not my favorite experience’!
Nonetheless, not everything is about work in Amy’s life. She’s been actively involved with charity and social causes, on top of becoming a softball coach for a teen girls team in which her daughter Lyla plays. All in all, Amy seems to be in a good place personally and professionally nowadays.
Why Did She Leave “Blue Bloods”?
There was a lot of confusion regarding Amy Carlson’s exit from “Blue Bloods”. Instead of being recast as many TV series do when an actor leaves, her character Linda Reagan was simply killed off in an off-screen stunt, which left viewers with more questions than answers.
Regarding her exit, back in 2017 Amy released a public statement in which she thanked fans, her co-stars and CBS for allowing her to play her character: ‘I have been touched by your compassion and enthusiasm. I loved playing Linda: wife to Danny, mother to Jack and Sean, nurse and working mom’. According to Deadline, Amy’s choice to leave was prompted by her need to ‘move on’ at the end of the seventh season, when her contract with the series expired.
However, in 2020, Amy told Soap Opera Digest that despite being ‘proud’ of the work she had done in “Blue Bloods”, she wasn’t entirely pleased with the direction of Linda’s character: ‘I always wanted to do more, but there was not that impulse on their side, so after enough time, I got the message’. While she affirmed her ‘adventurous’ side led her to take other professional opportunities, it was surprising that Linda Reagan was simply killed off.
— amy carlson (@TheAmyCarlson) November 7, 2017
Amy’s exit from “Blue Bloods” wasn’t surprising only for the audience, but for her co-stars as well. As admitted by actor Donnie Wahlberg, he was deeply affected by Amy’s departure on a personal level: ‘Rather than try to act or find something to do, I just thought about my friend Amy Carlson,’ he referred to the heartful scenes in which his character Danny Reagan mourned the loss of his on-screen wife Linda: ‘Any tears I shed in that scene was really Donnie shedding them for Amy. She’s a dear friend’, he said in a fan discussion during a PaleyFest in 2017, according to Entertainment Weekly.
While Donnie’s words about his former co-star were on the emotional side, actress Bridget Moynahan, who plays the role of Erin Reagan, expressed that the cast was ‘disappointed’ by Amy’s departure: ‘It was unfortunate that she made that decision at the end of Season 7, so we were stuck with the storyline as we could get it’. Nonetheless, Moynahan also affirmed to be ‘thrilled’ about Amy finding new career opportunities.
Regardless of the suddenness of it all, it’s clear that Amy’s time with “Blue Bloods” was beneficial for her professionally.
What Exactly Happened To Linda?
Just like Amy Carlson’s exit from the show, her “Blue Bloods” character Linda Reagan was written out in an unexpected way. The seventh season finale featured a drug cartel which targeted Danny, and destroyed his and Linda’s house in a fire, leaving them homeless.
As expected, the audience hoped to see a continuation of that plotline in the eighth season, but instead they found themselves watching Danny having a tearful therapy session in which he lamented not spending enough time at home, and blaming himself for her death. Linda’s demise had occurred ‘in a helicopter crash, while airlifting her patient’, in a scene never shown on camera: ‘Linda’s death wasn’t your fault. She was doing her job. She died doing what she loved’, Danny’s therapist noted.
While it was initially said that Linda’s death was an accident, in the following season the interrogation of a drug cartel member named Louis Delgado elicited the possibility of him being involved not only in Danny’s house fire, but also in the helicopter crash in which Linda was killed.
Roles After “Blue Bloods”
Following her exit from “Blue Bloods”, Amy Carlson’s first recurring role came in “The Society”, in 2019, an online series centered around a group of teenagers who find everybody in their hometown disappearing without any explanation. Amy’s character Amanda Pressman is the mother of Cassandra Allie, the main character of the show. Although Amanda’s appearances in the series are brief, her scenes hinted to be key in deciphering the mystery behind the disappearances.
Unfortunately, “The Society” was canceled after one season, due to COVID-19. Soon afterwards, Amy was cast as Jackie Ward in “FBI: Most Wanted”, a role for which she hadn’t planned to audition at first: ‘out of the blue, I read for something different, there was like another part on there, and then they called me and said, ‘We want to offer you this other part’.’ While unexpected, Amy was visibly excited after being told her character was a bounty hunter who lived in her car, and was deeply passionate about Dolly Parton: ‘I was like, ‘Oh, my God, am I dreaming?’,’ she told Soap Opera Digest.
While Jackie’s appearances in “FBI: Most Wanted” are brief, the series allowed Amy to work again with some former co-stars, such as Julian McMahon with whom she worked in the series “Another World” in the mid-1990s.
Besides her roles in “The Society” and “FBI: Most Wanted”, Amy Carlson has been involved in many minor projects since leaving “Blue Bloods”. The first was as Carla in “Landline”, a 2017 film starring comedian Jenny Slate, centering around a Manhattan family in the mid-1990s, and how they deal with discovering some secrets about each other and themselves.
In 2018, Amy was cast as Grace in the indie movie “A Bread Factory”, a story centered around Dorothea and Greta as they try to save their art center. The following year she was Julie Tucker in “The Village”, in which the stories of the residents of a Brooklyn apartment complex unfold. Then in 2020, Amy starred in the short “The Letter”, directed and written by herself. More recently, in 2022, Amy joined the cast of the game show “Would I Lie to You?”, in which she teamed up with comedian Hari Kondabalou for the team captained by Sabrina Jalees.
Would I Lie To You? U.S. ON the CW@WILTY_US
TONIGHT!! Would I Lie To You? @thecw! Two NEW SHOWS at 8 and 8:30PM (7 and 7:30PM CT). @EugeneMirman @harikondabolu @MichaelBoatman_@TheAmyCarlson @aasif @SabrinaJalees @mrmattwalsh @wiltyus @WILTY_TV pic.twitter.com/DwCamyCH3F
— Would I Lie To You? U.S. ON the CW (@WILTY_US) May 7, 2022
Roles Before “Blue Bloods”
While Linda Reagan is Amy’s longest running character on TV to date, she had appeared in many other series and films before “Blue Bloods”. Her acting debut came with the 1992 film “The Babe”, based on American baseball player George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth Jr., after leaving The New York Yankees. Amy later appeared in support roles in the series’ “Missing Persons” and “The Untouchables”, before being cast in her first main role as Josephine ‘Josie’ Watts in “Another World”.
Regarding her appearances in this series, in 2020 Amy described the experience of playing Josie as her ‘grad school’: ‘there was so much acting, just so many opportunities to stretch and really find my voice as an actor, and be free as an actor’, she told Soap Opera Digest, while also admitting it was ‘grueling at points’ but a ‘great life lesson’. Amy appeared in “Another World” from 1993 to 1998, afterwards joining the cast of series such as “Thanks of a Grateful Nation”, and “Get Real” in the next two years.
Some other memorable roles on TV by Amy are as Alex Taylor in “Third Watch”, Katie Owen in “Peacemakers”, and Kelly Gaffney in “Law & Order: Trial by Jury”.
Unbeknownst to many, Amy Carlson sings in the band Office Romance, formed by her husband Syd Butler, and Seth Jabour, both known for their work in Les Savy Fav and The 8G Band.
Office Romance started their career in 2012 with the extended play (EP) “I Love the Holidays”. However, seven years passed before the band felt compelled to enter the studio again with the goal of creating a Christmas album, this time entitled “Holidays of Love”. As described by Amy, producing the project was challenging in itself, as their 10 original tracks had the ambitious goal of becoming timeless: ‘I think that by creating our own, we realized that it’s much more challenging than you think, to write lyrics that speak to everyone’.
Despite starting production in early 2019, the album wasn’t released until late 2020, when Amy described its concept of their aim as a band to: ‘express the joys of anticipation in the holiday season’, as she told Broadway World.
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Amy Carlson’s role as Josie Watts in “Another World” brought her a lot of recognition in the entertainment world – in 1995 she was nominated as an Outstanding Female Newcomer in the Soap Opera Digest Awards, added to another nomination in the category of Hottest Romance for her on-screen affair with the character Gary Sinclair, played by Timothy Gibbs.
Amy’s performance was recognized in 1998 by Daytime Emmy Awards, by nominating her as an Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Later in 2004 she and the cast of “Peacemakers” won the category of Fictional Television Drama, at the Western Heritage Awards.
Amy’s work in the short film “The Letter” was recognized by the Hollywood Women’s Film Festival, making her the winner in the categories for Best Actress In A Dramatic Short, and Best Director Dramatic Short. In 2021 Amy was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award by Knox College, from where she graduated in History in 1990. As Amy tools Knox’s journal, her time in the institution influenced her in many ways: ‘it really helped me understand that what I was most interested in was being human and having the experience of life’.
Besides her successful career as an actress and singer, Amy Carlson is involved with several charity organizations and social causes. For starters, in 2018 she was granted a Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Gender Equality for her work as an activist in ‘making significant contributions’ in her community related to social and global issues. Amy dedicated the award to her late friend Anne Berry, who died of ME – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a disease she had been raising awareness of since her time in Knox College, where she met Berry.
In her speech, Amy criticized the lack of funding for the treatment of said disease, especially for women: ‘The low awareness around ME illustrates how issues of gender equality affect women’s lives on so many different levels, including our health’. As part of the initiative, Amy is one of Friends of Anne Berry, a campaign which looks to fight the ‘great lack and inequality’ in the social funding for ME.
Amy has also promoted other organizations such as Open Medicine Foundation, Equality Now, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Black Lives Matter.
Amy Carlson is quite open about showing her family on social media. Her long-time partner and father of her children, Syd Butler, not only shares the stage with her for Office Romance, but also owns the band’s independent label Frenchkiss Records.
Syd started his career in the mid-1990s as Les Savy Fav’s bassist, though nowadays he’s also part of The 8G Band, featured in NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers”.
Amy and Syd are parents of Lyla and Nigel, whom they included as back-up vocals in their band’s Christmas album “Magic In The Air”.
All in all, the most loyal “Blue Bloods” fans surely miss her in the show, but fortunately Amy has plenty of other professional and personal projects her fans can find her in.