It would be nice if actors were cast in roles and played them until the show wrapped, and that was that. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Sometimes, actors and actresses get bored with their current roles and they want to explore new projects. Other times, producers recast the roles and hope we won’t notice. Then there are times when actors cause so much trouble that they end up getting the boot.
You might think that if you were starring in a popular TV show or movie, you would make sure that you behaved yourself. We’re sure these actors probably thought that, too, but life and issues happen. Whether it was being difficult to work with, pay negotiation issues or troubles with the law, these troublesome actors’ actions were enough to make them lose their starring roles…
18. Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men
Most of us don’t think of the plot when we think of the end of Two and a Half Men. We usually think of Charlie Sheen‘s questionable actions and comments. Many said that the actor had “gone off the deep end” in 2010 with his talk of ponies named Steve, arrests, domestic violence, ‘goddesses’ and ‘winning’ at life. The actor was making a staggering $2 million per episode at the time, but execs wanted the show to go on hiatus so Charlie could seek treatment. However, when the show went on hiatus and Charlie did go to rehab, he conducted interviews insulting Two and a Half Men‘s creator Chuck Lorre. No huge surprise, Charlie was given the boot and Ashton Kutcher came in to fill his place. How did Sheen respond? By suing Warner Bros.
17. Edward Norton in the Marvel Cinamtic Universe
Fans of superhero movies will remember that Edward Norton originally starred as The Hulk/Bruce Bannner in the 2008 reboot The Incredible Hulk. The movie did just okay at the box office, but many still assumed the actor would play The Hulk in The Avengers. That turned out not to be the case. Mark Ruffalo ended up being cast as The Hulk instead of Eddie boy. The studio released a statement explaining that the decision wasn’t monetary — it was about the kind of actor needed for the role. There was also talk about it being Edward’s decision to leave, after conflicting schedules and *difficulties* on set.
16. Columbus Short on Scandal
It’s another hugely popular show with some major drama off screen. This time it’s ABC’s Scandal. Columbus Short played Harrison Wright, a character who had to deal with a lot as part of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington)’s crisis management team. In real life, he was having some trouble with the law for public intoxication, cocaine use, restraining orders and domestic violence. The result was that the actor was fired from the show after three seasons and his character was killed off cause Shonda Rhimes wasn’t having it.
15. Nicollette Sheridan on Desperate Housewives
There was a lot of drama on Desperate Housewives and it wasn’t restricted to the fictional world of Wisteria Lane. When the ABC drama aired, there were rumors about the female stars not getting along with each other. There were rumors about a feud between Nicollette Sheridan and Terri Hatcher , but the main reason Nicollette supposedly got fired was for the ~direction the show was going~. The secondary reason was her alleged unprofessional behavior on set. It was reported there was an incident between her and creator Mark Cherry. Nicollette contested the firing by suing for wrongful termination.
14. Kevin Spacey in All The Money In The World
If you haven’t heard of this one, it’s because the movie hasn’t even come out yet. All the Money in the World was set to be released in December 2017 and was supposed to star Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Spacey. The movie was already finished given the upcoming release date, but execs made the decision to cut Kevin from the film following the sexual assault allegations made against him. The Ridley Scott-directed movie recast Christopher Plummer in Kevin’s role.
13. Thomas Gibson on Criminal Minds
*Insert your own comment about an actor getting in trouble on a show called Criminal Minds here.* The actor in question was Thomas Gibson, who was fired from the CBS drama series after he allegedly got into an altercation with a writer on the show. It apparently resulted in Thomas actually kicking the writer. WTF. The punishment for the incident was a two-episode suspension, but he actually ended up getting fired from the series altogether. ABC Studios released a statement following the incident in 2016. Thomas released his own statement saying he was grateful for being on the show for the twelve years he was.
12. Isaiah Washington on Grey’s Anatomy
Think back to over a decade ago when Grey’s Anatomy was one of the hottest shows around. Unfortunately, that didn’t make the show immune to casting drama. There were a few issues but the one we always think of first involved Isaiah Washington. The actor played Dr. Preston Burke on the ABC medical drama, but he was fired in 2007 by our girl, Shonda Rhimes after using a gay slur towards costar T.R. Knight. In 2014, the actor did actually end up making a return to the show, but his reputation has never really fully recovered.
11. Page Kennedy on Desperate Housewives
Here’s another Desperate Housewives casting change. Page Kennedy originally played Caleb Applewhite, Betty Applewhite‘s (Alfre Woodard) son who was kept locked in the basement. In 2005, it was revealed that Page was fired from the show after an investigation. In the second season, actor NaShawn Kearse took over the role.
10. Leah Remini on The Talk
Yup, even talk shows can undergo casting switches. We all know how many versions there have been of The View, but we’re focusing on The Talk here. Leah Remini was one of the hosts of The Talk for only one season. She was then fired for basically talking when she shouldn’t have. Leah also had a well-publicized feud with fellow co-host Sharon Osbourne while she was on the show. Leah did later blame Sharon for getting her and Holly Robinson Pete fired.
9. Brett Butler on Grace Under Fire
Brett Butler was the star of the 1990s show Grace Under Fire. She played the title character Grace Kelly alongside the baby Sprouse brothers who both played Patrick Kelly. Sadly, Brett had addiction problems and was asked to leave the show after five years. She has had a rough time since then. In a 2011 interview, she revealed that she was even homeless after being given the boot.
8. Mackenzie Phillips on One Day At A Time
Here’s another throwback show that had some drama. One Day at A Time was a CBS show about a mom who struggled to raise her two teenage daughters after moving homes. Mackenzie Phillips played one of the daughters named Julie Cooper. Unfortunately, the then-20-year-old was allegedly struggling with drug addiction which affected her ability to perform on the show. She had originally been given six weeks off to get healthy, but it wasn’t enough. So, the show’s executives gave her the option of resigning or getting fired.
7. Janet Hubert on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air plus Will Smith (Will Smith) and Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro) were unbeatable together. However, we can see that things weren’t completely hunky dory off camera because Janet Hubert-Whitten, who played Aunt Vivian, was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid. There are only rumors about what exactly went down on the set but cast members have alluded to it. It appears that Janet was difficult to work with and had a feud with Will, which led to her being kicked off the show. There are also rumors that she broke her contract.
6. Robert Downey Jr. on Ally McBeal
Robert Downey Jr. is rocking it as Iron Man, but his career has had highs and lows. One low point was when he has written out of the show, Ally McBeal. Let us back up: After already going through a year-long rehab stint, arrests and jail, RDJ was cast as Larry Paul in Ally McBeal. He was credited to boosting ratings of the series, but his personal demons weren’t behind him. During his time on the show, he had two more arrests behind-the-scenes so execs decided that his character needed to be written off.
5. Megan Fox in the Transformers franchise
Even if you’ve never seen any of the Transformers movies, you will probably remember the dramz with Megan Fox. The actress played Mikaela Banes in Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. While being interviewed about the sequel, Megan referred to director Michael Bay as being “a nightmare to work for” and said he “wants to be like Hitler on his sets.” She was fired for her comments and replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for the third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
4. Terrence Howard on Iron Man
What is it about superhero movies that seems to create a lot of drama off-screen? Besides The Avengers, Iron Man also had some controversy. Terrence Howard played War Machine in the 2008 reboot of the franchise. However, he was noticeably absent from Iron Man 2 and was actually replaced by Don Cheadle. The reason behind the casting change was that Terrence supposedly was difficult to work with and refused to take a pay cut for the sequels of the film he had a lead role in. It was reported that Terrence actually made the most money in the first film, but he wasn’t cool with making less for the ones that would come afterwards.
3. Crispin Glover in the Back to the Future movies
You might have heard how Michael J. Fox wasn’t actually the original Marty McFly in Back to the Future. The first Marty was actually Eric Stoltz. He was replaced by Michael after the execs realized Eric was too serious for the part. That wasn’t the only Back to the Future casting change. Crispin Glover originally played George McFly in the first movie, but wasn’t seen again in the sequels. Directors supposedly said he was difficult to work with and had unreasonable salary expectations — which leads to a bit of confusion on whether he was actually fired for those expectations or axed from the job. For the sequels, the studio ended up using previous footage of Crispin from the first movie and a very good doppelganger. Because of this, Crispin sued.
2. Suzanne Somers on Three’s Company
Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Three’s Company was one of the hottest shows on TV. It starred John Ritter as Jack Tripper, Joyce DeWitt as Janet Wood and Suzanne Somers as Chrissy Snow. Unfortunately, the show hit a road bump when it was revealed that Suzanne wouldn’t be returning. The actress wanted a pay raise to match John’s. She wanted her salary raised from $35,000 per episode to $150,000. Producers said no and the actress boycotted the show for a few episodes. She appeared less and less until it was revealed she wouldn’t be returning at all.
1. Shannen Doherty on Charmed
You could say that what went on behind the scenes on the Charmed set was less than charming. There was the well-publicized feud between Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano. Things came to a boiling point where Shannen allegedly gave producers an ultimatum involving Alyssa. The result was that Shannen left the show in 2001 after being killed off and Rose McGowan came in as the secret fourth Halliwell witch. This all came after Shannen left Beverly Hills 90210 years before after some troublemaking behaviors.