Ever noticed how some characters seem to suddenly disappear from a TV show, sometimes with no explanation?
Check out these actors written off of shows.
The first real-life character on Sesame Street, David, was played by actor Northern Calloway. He was hired in 1971 and played David until 1989. His mental health got worse over the years until he had to be committed (and was let go from the show). He died in 1990.
Tommy Chong, of Cheech and Chong, was on That 70’s Show but suddenly left… and by “left” we mean he was put in jail for 9 months for selling bongs. His cellmate was Jordan Belfort (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Tommy convinced Jordan to write his book.
The original Doctor Who, William Hartnell, had arteriosclerosis near the end of his Doctor Who career. To keep the show going, the producers made up the idea that Doctor Who could regenerate in a new body. As a result, the show is still on the air!
The actress who played Maude Flanders, Ned Flanders’ wife in The Simpsons, lived out of state and had to fly herself into Los Angeles whenever she had to record her lines. She didn’t like this and asked for the show to reimburse her. They found it cheaper to just kill her off.
Eddie, the husband of waitress Carla on the TV show, Cheers, was played by Jay Thomas. Unfortunately for Jay’s role on the show, he made some jokes about Rhea Perlman’s looks and said he got “combat pay” for kissing her. Obviously, they killed him off with a zamboni.
30 Trainee Doctors on House M.D.
On the 4th season of House M.D., House started with 30 trainee doctors. Over the course of each episode, he would drop a few of them. The actors playing the roles NEVER knew whether they were going to be in the next episode or not.
Dominic Monaghan, former Hobbit from The Lord of the Rings, was cast on Lost where he promptly began to date Evangeline Lily. Unfortunately, she dumped him and he asked to be written out of the show so that he wouldn’t have to work with her.
Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher
That 70’s Show was a very successful sitcom and lasted a long time on television… too long, actually, for both Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace. The actors’ departure was written into the show (Ashton’s Kelso got a job in Chicago and Topher’s Eric went to university).
Will Lee played the kind store owner on Sesame Street, Mr. Hooper. Unfortunately, Will died during one of the seasons. His death was actually worked into the show, which made for a very heartfelt episode.
Scarlett Pomers, who played Kyra on the show Reba, suffered from anorexia. It got really bad as she weighed 73 lbs and was 5’2″ tall. They allowed her to leave the show, she got better and came back. On the show, they asked “Where have you been?” She replied, “I went to get something to eat!”
Steve Burns left the show Blue’s Clues because he began to go bald and seemed to be losing his hair fast. He said he refused to go bald on a children’s TV show. Steve went on to start a musical career and has been doing that since then.
B.J. Novak’s character on The Office, Ryan, took an extended trip to Thailand on the popular sitcom. In fact, B.J. had been cast in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and had to leave for a while to film.
Lisa Edelstein, who played Cuddy on House M.D., was not able to come to terms with the producers of the show regarding her salary, so they wrote her out of the show during the last season of the medical drama.
Elaine Benes’ father on Seinfeld, played by Lawrence Tierney, only appeared once on the show. That’s because in real life, Jerry Seinfeld was terrified of the imposing Lawrence. One look at Lawrence’s criminal history is enough to understand why Jerry felt that way.
Kal Penn, who starred in the Harold and Kumar movies, left the TV show, House M.D., because of political aspirations. Kal actually got a job at the White House and was much more interested in following that career path.
Michael O’Hare played Jeffrey Sinclair on the cult favorite sci-fi show, Babylon 5. Unfortunately, during the first season, he began to suffer from paranoia and hallucinations. The producer said he’d pause the show until Michael got better, but Michael asked to be written out.
Lauren Socha played Kelly on the British show, Misfits. Then, she was written out of the show. That’s because Lauren had her own legal problems off-screen and had to do some community service.
Soleil Moon Frye
Soleil Moon Frye was cast in the titular role in Punky Brewster, and then she hit puberty. Her chest began to grow… exponentially. Before long, she looked much older than her character’s age warranted. She even had breast reduction surgery at the age of 15 on her 38DD bust. The show was then cancelled.
It looks like Janet Hubert’s contract for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, where she played Aunt Vivian, had a stipulation that she cannot get pregnant, because once she did, she was in breach of the contract and was replaced on the show by Daphne Maxwell Reed.
Yvette Nicole, Shirley on the TV show Community, had to leave during the sixth season because her father became very ill. She wanted to spend more time with him and believed that was more important that filming another season.
Jared Padalecki, Dean Forester from Gilmore Girls, left the show for greener pastures to star in the show, Supernatural. He plays Sam Winchester.
Bill Cosby (of all people, ironically) had Lisa Bonet fired from The Cosby Show because he didn’t agree with her posing topless in a magazine and having a role in the movie Angel Heart.
Jeffrey DeMunn played Dale Horvath on The Walking Dead. He was a good friend of show runner, Frank Darabont, and was not happy that Frank was fired during Season 2 of the hit show. He asked to be written out and was killed on the show in the most silly way.
David Yost played the Blue Ranger on the Power Rangers. It seems as if the crew of the show was harassing David for his repressed sexual orientation to the point he wanted to kill himself. He left, went into conversion therapy, had a breakdown and then accepted he was gay.
Mandy Patinkin’s character on Criminal Minds was retired because Mandy did not like the direction the show was heading. He thought it was getting too morbid for his taste and didn’t want to be involved anymore.