17 Actors Who Were Replaced Mid Show

actors who left their show

You know what they say, fame is fickle! Well, these actors who were replaced from their shows know the struggle. Here is a list of actors who got recast and why!

There are many reasons why an actor might get recast, it could be simple creative differences or a death. These actors who were replaced and some people didn’t even notice.

Why do actors get recast?

Anyone who has ever quit a job typically gets replaced. Same goes with actors, it’s just that when regular people quit their day job, they don’t have an audience of fans waiting to see them come back to work.

Some actors might have more than one commitment and have to leave a show because of scheduling conflicts. However, there are instances when there is some sort of drama that leads to the actor being fired.

On a darker note, some actors are replaced because they were in an accident or even died in real life. A lot of times, shows or movies retire the character in that circumstance, but not all the time.

17 actors who were replaced

1. Ann Veal, Arrested Development

The creator of Arrested Development, Mitch Hurwitz, originally wanted a different actress to play Ann in each episode. The idea behind this was to emphasize just how forgettable and unmemorable the character was. However, after just two actresses he decided to stick with Mae Whitman.

2. Vivian Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was played by actress Janet Hubert for 3 seasons. Some have said she left the show on bad terms which apparently lead to conflict between her and Will Smith. 

3. Reggie Mantle, Riverdale

Ross Buttler was the first Reggie Mantle on Riverdale, however, due to limited screen time, he went on to play a much bigger role in 13 Reasons Why. His replacement, Chris Melton, stepped in and fans say he did a great job.

4. Laurie Forman, That ’70s Show

The first Laurie Forman on That ’70s Show, was played by Lisa Robin. She stayed with the show until season 3 but stepped away due to struggles with addiction. Christina Moore replaced Robin in season 6, however, many fans felt an eeriness about the recasting.

5. Meg Griffin, Family Guy

Those of you who watched season 1 of family guy will remember a distinct difference in Meg’s voice. The original Meg was voiced by Lacy Chabert, but because she was still in school, there was scheduling conflicts. Her replacement, Mila Kunis, has been with the show ever since.

6. Daario Naharis, Game of Thrones

There are many reason why an actor might leave a project. Daario Naharis actor Ed Skrien left in the 3rd season of GoT due to “politics.” His replacement, Michael Huisman, came in during season 4 until season 6.

Skrien told Entertainment Weekly “My plan was to stay with Game of Thrones for the long haul…but politics led to us parting ways.”

7. Angie Jordan, 30 Rock

actors who quit mid show

Sherri Shepard, who plays Angie Jordan in 30 Rock wasn’t actually the first casted. Initially, Sharon Wilkins portrayed Angie. However, Wilkins only made it 1 episode before her replacement stepped in.

8. Carol Willick, Friends

actors who left their shows

Friends fans everywhere saw this very obvious replacement instantly. Ross’s ex-wife, Carrol in the 1st season was Anita Barone. She decided to leave the show to open herself up to larger opportunities. Jane Sibbet, who played Carole for the rest of the series, hit the jack-pot with her role. Friends went on to become one of the most successful sitcoms of all time.

9. Jesus Adams Foster, The Fosters

actors who were recast

Hit kids show, Wizards of Waverly Place actor Jake T Austin, was originally cast in The Fosters. However, he ended up leaving to pursue other projects. Noah Cinteneo who went on to become a huge star, took over the role and went on to do a spin off, Good Trouble.

10. James Kent, True Blood

actors who were replaced

Luke Grimes, who initially played James Kent said in a statement that his departure “had nothing to do with storylines and more to do with other opportunities.” Moreover, Nathan Parsons went on to replace Grimes for the 7th season.

11. Mandy Malkovich, Shameless

Shows who replaced actors

The first Mandy Milkovich on Shameless, was Jane Levy. The actress chose to leave her role and went to the show Suburgatory instead. Only making it through one season, her replacement, Emma Greenwell, become a series regular and did a great job.

12. Mason Verger, Hannibal

actors who were recast

The psychotic pig farmer, Mason Verger, was first played by Michael Pitt in the show Hannibal. He left the role because the “timing wasn’t right”. The transition from Pitt to Joe Anderson was extremely smooth due to the disfigurement the character undergoes.

13. Catelyn Stark, Game of Thrones

Jennifer Ehle was the original Catelyn Stark but only filmed the pilot episode. The actress had just given birth to her first child when the show began to film which lead to her stepping down. Michelle Fairley stepped in and did a fantastic job as Catelyn.

14. Becky Connor, Roseanne

The original Becky Connor was played by Alicia Goranson however, she left during the 5th season to go to college. Her replacement, Sarah Chalke, took over until the 8th season when Goranson was available again.

15. Harriette Winslow, Family Matters

The show, Family Matters was actually a spin-off of the show Perfect Strangers. Additionally, Harriette Winslow was meant to be the main character. The show become to centre Streve Urkel more so than Harriette which causes Jo Marie Payton (the actress) to leave the role. Her replacement, Judyann Elder took over for the remaining episodes.

16. Capheus Van Damme Onyango, Sense8

actors who were recast

Sense8 only last 2 seasons on Netflix, however Aml Ameen who played Capheus couldn’t go on with his role because of the show runners. In reports, major conflict ensued during season 2’s table read. Ameen got up and left the show which lead his replacement, Toby Onwumere to over.

17. Spartacus, Spartacus

Actors who were recast

Lastly, for 3 seasons, the role of Spartacus, was Andy Whitfields, until he unfortunately passed away from lymphoma. In a rare and questionable move the show continued with replacement actor, Liam McIntyre. There was only two more seasons before the show ended.

There are a lot of reasons to why a character may be recast mid show. Some sad, some dramatic and some just plain reasonable. What show recast a character that made an impact on you?

Read More:

10 Movies That didn’t Age Well

25 identical Celebrities That Could Be Related

10 Celebrities Who Struggle With Student Debt 

follow us on instagram!

Stay Connected