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Actors Who Quit a Show/Appear and Disaappear

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by cineMANIAC, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Premium
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    I started this thread because I've always been fascinated by people who seem to be at their peak on a particular show then leave for whatever reason in the middle of it, usually beacause of compensation issues. Then there are characters that are introduced and pop up every so often in subsequent episodes/seasons and then mysteriously disappear without explanation. Below are examples of this and I'm hoping others here contribute to the list.

    John Amos (Good Times). All I remember is Esther Rolle's character getting a wire saying her husband (Amos) was in an accident and was dead. Clever way of explaining him away but why did he leave the show?

    On MacGyver around the fourth season there were a pair of black bounty hunters introduced as recurring characters. I say this because they popped up on a few more episodes but then nothing. Was it an idea that just didn't work? Then there was that actor from Timecop who played MacGyver's annoying buddy (I forget his name). The series ended and we never found out who he really was. I really hate loose ends, don't you?

    I know Suzzane Sommers left Three's Company because she wanted more money but what ever happened to Cindy? She was there for one season. I thought she was great - why was she dropped?

    Sliders. Wasn't there a fifth season? Why did the cute chick leave after the third season and did Jerry O'Connell appear in the fifth season?

    Miami Vice. John Diehl was killed off in Season 3. Was he unhappy with the role?
     
  2. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    David Caruso on "NYPD Blue" after season 1 and a few eps. into season 2. Can't remember why he left, but I think it was either money issues or he wanted to do films.
     
  3. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Well-Known Member

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    Mclean Stevenson, 'M*A*S*H', for compensation issues, as the OP mentioned, plus I think he thought he could be a 'top-banana'.
     
  4. younger1968

    younger1968 Well-Known Member

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    Jenilee Harrison was punted to lesser role and replaced with Priscilla Barnes. I believe Jenilee was also working on Dallas at the time.

    How about Valerie Harper and the hogan family? They said she died and wrote her out of the script and added in Sandy Duncan.

    There are many instances were actors left either because of money or wanting a bigger role. I remember the paramedic in third watch wanted a bigger role, but, that never happen so they had his character die off. I am huge 70s and 80s show and some actors/actresses were replace and the show got better, like the captain in emergency! or Charlie Angels with Farah Fawcett or Julie Mccullough for Chelsea Noble in Growing Pains, etc.
     
  5. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Lusito,

    The first name I thought of was McLean Stevenson, who has already been mentioned.

    BTW, since you did write 'for whatever reason,' I suppose Dick York's name ought to be mentioned. I do not know for certain if he wanted to leave, however.

    How about some of Charlie's Angels? (I see that this one has also been mentioned.)

    Also, Alexandre Moltke left Dark Shadows around the half-way point. So did Mitchell Ryan much earlier in the series, although it wasn't necessarily his choice.

    Did any stars leave Peyton Place during the run of the series?
     
  6. kbrooks190

    kbrooks190 Member

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    The lady that played Kate on NCIS left after the first 2 or 3 seasons. Never heard from her again.

    The guy who played Speed on CSI: Miami wanted to be in movies. Again, never saw him in anything again.
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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  8. whisperintherain

    whisperintherain Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Scott, Mia Farrow left PEYTON PLACE right in the middle of the series. In her autobiography, Farrow revealed that she regretted having signed to play ingénue Allison MacKenzie almost immediately and pleaded with the producers to release her from her contract before the first scene was even shot, but they rejected her request. Rumor has it that her then-husband Frank Sinatra pulled some strings to get her out of the show in the summer of 1966.

    Another case that springs to mind is Sherry Stringfield leaving her role as Dr. Susan Lewis on ER at the beginning of Season 3 in 1996 and coming back in Season 8, only to leave again at the beginning of Season 12.
     
  9. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Well-Known Member

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    Lecy Goranson was replaced by Sarah Chalke as Becky on "Roseanne", then she and Goranson kind of switched back and forth in the role over the final seasons. I don't recall the reason Lecy left.

    EDIT: Her IMDB profile says she left to attend college.
     
  10. Ockeghem

    Ockeghem Ockeghem

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    Whisper,

    Yeah, that's right. I completely forgot about Farrow.

    Another one is Jeremy Gelbwaks (The Partridge Family), who was replaced by Brian Forster.
     
  11. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Well-Known Member

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    Bob,

    Welcome back! Hope you're feeling better lately. Ditto for Gary's "welcome" on the Robin Hood thread.

    NYPD Blue: Yep, David C left after S1 because at that time, he hought he was destined to hit it big in movies. That didn't turn out like he planned but I guess he's been ok back on the small screen in recent years. Imo, that 1st season role in NYPD Blue was a perfect fit for his acting.

    For a lesser known example back on topic: Combat! fans remember that the original "Doc" (Steven Rogers) left early in the series and was replaced by Conlan Carter who portrayed "Doc" for the majority of the show.
     
  12. Richard V

    Richard V Well-Known Member

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    Barney Fife leaving The Andy Griffith Show to become a detective for the Raliegh PD. He did come back a couple of times though as his new character.

    Trapper John (Wayne Rogers) leaving M*A*S*H, his character got "sent home", Frank Burns (Larry Linville) left M*A*S*H after going insane.

    Big Brother Chuck Cunningham just literally disappeared from Happy Days, never to be heard of, or referred to again.

    Dick York replaced by Dick Sargent on Bewitched, think anyone ever noticed?

    Bret Maverick (James Garner) just left Maverick without mention ever being made over his disappearance. Garner left over a salary dispute.

    Adam (Pernell Roberts) left his brothers on Bonanza, allegedly because he "joined the Navy".

    Chester (Dennis Weaver) left Gunsmoke, why?
     
  13. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Jeff. Shecky Greene's character was also gone after the end of the first season.
     
  14. cineMANIAC

    cineMANIAC Premium
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    That's funny about Caruso. What was his biggest film role, then? I saw him in an indie horror flick (Session 9) but don't remember anything else. Just goes to show - if you have a strong character in a hit show, best stick with it cause u never know how things are going to turn out. I mean its ok to aspire to bigger and better things, just don't let your ego (or an overzealous agent) get in the way.
     
  15. chadHobbick

    chadHobbick Well-Known Member

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    If I recall, and please correct me if i'm wrong anybody, but didn't Don Knotts not want to leave The Andy Griffifth Show? His contract renewal was coming up and his agent already had him signed for multi-picture deals for the cinema that would make him not available to work on the tv show anymore. I just remember hearing that somewhere that he was heartbroken he basically had to leave the show b/c of his movie career, and was so grateful when he was able to come back and play Barney again.
     
  16. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Well-Known Member

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    He had "Kiss of Death" and "Jade" and "Cold Around the Heart". I saw all of them, and Caruso wasn't the problem -- just not good films. Had he chosen different projects, he might have had that big film career. But as "C.S.I. Miami" is (or was) the #1 show in the world, I guess it all worked out for him.

    Dick Wolf shows basically have the built-in revolving door. In most cases, it seems they like to bring in new actors to keep the show fresh.
     
  17. smithb

    smithb Well-Known Member

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    My understanding was that he was ready to leave to do movies. I don't believe he was bitter or anything or had a problem playing the part but was just ready to move on. The more surprising thing was that the studio wasn't ready for it. They originally signed him to a 5 year deal and didn't seem to think to resign him to a newer contract sooner as his popularity grew. If you watch the first few episodes he isn't as prominent a character as he soon quickly became.

    On another note, I saw a special on Ron Howard and Happy days. It talked about how he kept pushing the studio to give him a shot at directing episodes, since that obviously was where his passion was. But they just thought he was too young and inexperienced to give a try, not thinking he would ever do anything about it. Sure enough when his contract ended and they approached him for a new one, he said no way. Apparently, they were surprised never thinking he would do that. If they had just given him some opportunities he may have stuck around through the whole series run.
     
  18. smithb

    smithb Well-Known Member

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    While I didn't see it, I remember when Jade came out. Wasn't that the first one after NYPD Blue? I remember it being a flop.

    But before that I remember him from First Blood: Rambo #1 playing one of the police officers.
     
  19. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Well-Known Member

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    Dick Wolf? NYPD Blue was a Bochco/Milch show, while the C.S.I.'s are all Brukenheimer (I thought).
     
  20. SilverWook

    SilverWook Well-Known Member

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    Dr. Beverly Crusher, (Gates McFadden) being gone at the start of Star Trek TNG's second season. Casually explained away as being offered to head up Starfleet Medical and replaced by Dr. Kate Pulaski, played by TOS veteran Diana Muldaur.

    I've heard various stories about McFadden's departure. The most factual one seems to be behind the scenes tension with one of the producers. (But not Gene Roddeberry.) And then Crusher is magically back in season 3 with little to no explanation. Pulaski is mentioned once in another episode but never seen again.

    Some fans back then seemed to take their frustrations out on Muldaur's character, but I liked the conflict Pulaski brought to the crew. She took a while to accept Data as sentient, and initially rubbed Picard the wrong way, but she had some Leonard McCoy qualities. She even had a nice friendship developing with Worf. I wish they had kept her around as a recurring character.

    And there's no truth to the rumor that Pulaski fell down a turbolift shaft either!
     

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