Love & Death cast: All actors & characters in HBO show

Elizabeth Olsen in Love & DeathHBO Max

Here’s your guide to the full cast and the characters they play in Love & Death, HBO Max’s new true crime dramatization from Lesli Linka Glatter and David E. Kelley.

Love & Death centers on Candance “Candy” Montgomery, a Texan housewife whose affair with her friend’s husband Allan Gore turned deadly – you can read more about the true story behind the Max Original series here.

In real life, Candy was accused of killing Allan’s wife Betty, who was bludgeoned to death with 41 blows of an axe – but there’s far more to this story than meets the eye, as is explored in the upcoming crime drama. 

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The show might sound familiar, and that’s because Hulu also adapted the case into a TV outing titled Candy, which dropped last year. But now HBO is having a go, with its limited series boasting a starry cast. So, ahead of its premiere, we’ve broken down all of the major roles in the cast of Love & Death, including the actors and the people they play.


Love & Death cast and characters

There are plenty of important figures to take note of in Love & Death, which is described in the official logline as a “riveting drama” that tells the true story of “two churchgoing couples enjoying their smalltown Texas life… until an extramarital affair leads somebody to pick up an axe.”

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Check out our rundown of the main cast and characters in Love & Death below.

Candy Montgomery: Elizabeth Olsen 

Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery in Love and DeathHBO Max

Elizabeth Olsen plays Candy Montgomery, the fun-lovin’, church-lovin’, smalltown housewife whose quest to find a deeper meaning to life ends in a brutal killing.

Even those who have seen Hulu’s Candy or simply aren’t true crime fans might want to give Love & Death a watch purely for Olsen’s outstanding performance as the woman who was dubbed “The Friday the 13th Axe Killer”.

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The actress is best known as Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch, in the MCU. She also appeared in Wind River and Godzilla. 

Allan Gore: Jesse Plemons

Jesse Plemons as Allan Gore in Love & DeathHBO Max

Jesse Plemons plays Allan Gore, a family man who enters a meticulously organized love affair with Candy. 

Allan is a man of his era, often struggling to express his emotions while also grappling with the guilt of cheating on his wife. Plemons is masterful in his portrayal of a man who is in way too deep but doesn’t know where to turn. 

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The actor’s breakthrough role was in the drama series Friday Night Lights. Since then, he’s gone on to star in Breaking Bad, Fargo, and Black Mirror

Pat Montgomery: Patrick Fugit

Patrick Fugit as Pat Montgomery in Love & DeathHBO Max

Patrick Fugit plays Pat Montgomery, Candy’s long-suffering husband who, much like Allan, has a hard time expressing his feelings. 

In both Love & Death and in real-life, Pat stuck by Candy even as her affair and the gruesome situation came to light. 

Fugit made a name for himself in a number of 00s hits including Almost Famous and Spun, more recently appearing in the Margot Robbie-starring Babylon

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Betty Gore: Lily Rabe

Lily Rabe as Betty Gore in Love & DeathHBO Max

Lily Rabe plays Betty Gore, Allan’s wife, Candy’s friend, and the victim in this horrifying case. 

Betty was a loyal wife and mother, with her intense love for Allan and the need to be near him causing rifts in their marriage. No one could have predicted what happened to her on June 13, 1980. 

Rabe is best known for her multiple roles on FX’s horror anthology series American Horror Story

Sherry Cleckler: Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter as Sherry Cleckler in Love & DeathHBO Max

Krysten Ritter plays Sherry Cleckler, Candy’s ride or die bestie and one who tries her best to steer her pal away from making risky decisions. 

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Sherry was also a confidant to Candy when things went wrong, as well as being her business partner after the pair launched a decorating company called The Cover Girls.

Ritter took on the titular role in Marvel’s Jessica Jones series on Netflix. Prior to this, she appeared in Breaking Bad and Gossip Girl. 

Jackie Ponder: Elizabeth Marvel

Elizabeth Marvel as Elizabeth Keane in HomelandShowtime

Elizabeth Marvel plays Jackie Ponder, Fairview’s original church pastor and Candy’s “backdoor friend” (aka a friend who will always be upfront about what’s going on in their life). 

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Although she tries her best to understand Candy’s decisions, when the court case unfolds, she has a hard time trusting her friend. 

Marvel recently took on a role in another crime dramatization: 2022’s The Dropout. Other acting accolades include Lincoln, Burn After Reading, and Homeland. 

Don Crowder: Tom Pelphrey

Tom Pelphrey as Don Crowder in Love & DeathHBO Max

Tom Pelphrey plays Don Crowder, Candy’s no-nonsense, foul-mouthed lawyer and a standup member of the Fairview community. 

Don proves to be a risky bet – not only has he never handled a criminal case, but he’s impulsive, and his hot temper gets him in trouble. 

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You may recognize Pelphrey from his various TV roles, which include Ozark, Iron Fist, and Banshee. 

Ron Adams: Keir Gilchrist

Keir Gilchrist as Ron Adams in Love & DeathHBO Max

Keir Gilchrist plays Ron Adams, the miserable church pastor who replaces Jackie Ponder, much to the dismay of the Fairview community. 

Gilchrist is best known for playing the lead character in Netflix’s comedy-drama Atypical.

That’s everything we know about the main cast and characters in Love & Death. Episodes 1-3 will be available to stream on HBO Max from April 27, 2023, with new episodes dropping weekly thereafter. Check out our coverage of the series here

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