1. The Blue Ranger
David Yost played Billy Cranston (aka the Blue Ranger) on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. He reportedly left the show after experiencing verbal harassment from members of the cast and crew because he is gay.
The entire incident left Yost emotionally distressed and confused about his sexuality. He even suffered from a nervous breakdown as a result. It’s a shame he had to stop doing what he loved because of these ignorant individuals.
2. Prue Halliwell
Shannen Doherty left the cast of Charmed in 2001 due to on-set arguments with her coworkers. Apparently there was an abundance of drama going on behind the scenes; Alyssa Milano reportedly felt left out because Doherty and Holly Marie Combs were so close.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Doherty provided a little insight when she stated, “I’m 30 years old and I don’t have time for drama in my life anymore. I miss Holly a lot…she’s one of my best friends and I love her dearly, and there were never, ever, ever any problems between the two of us.”
3. Mike Flaherty
Michael J. Fox left ABC’s Spin City when the symptoms of his Parkinson’s disease made acting too difficult. But Fox also had a much greater reason for leaving his role on the show.
He later revealed that he quit acting on Spin City because he wanted to dedicate his life to finding a cure for the degenerative disease while providing a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves. During his final episode, Fox’s character made a heartwarming callback to Family Ties, which was Fox’s first sitcom. He was replaced on Spin City by Charlie Sheen.
4. Punky Brewster
Soleil Moon Frye played Punky Brewster on the sitcom of the same name. She physically developed early due to a growth disorder, and she could no longer believably play the role of a young girl. When she was only 15 years old, Frye had the bustline of a fully grown woman.
Her large breasts began preventing her from getting the age-appropriate roles she wanted because casting directors only saw her voluptuous frame. As her insecurities grew, Frye decided to undergo breast reduction surgery as a teenager so that she could have a more manageable figure.
5. Eric Draven
In 1993, Brandon Lee tragically died during the filming of The Crow. During a warehouse shootout scene, a crew member mistakenly loaded a revolver with the wrong type of cartridge.
When the gun was fired, Lee fell backward and was mortally wounded because the bullet caused internal bleeding in his abdomen. Rather than scrap the entire film, the producers decided to tone down the action flick, removing some of the harsher elements of the plot.
6. Brian O’Conner
Paul Walker tragically passed away during the time that Furious 7 was being filmed. Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, were hired as stand-ins for some of the remaining shots and the visual effects team was able to cover up the rest with computer effects.
The film ended with a moving montage in memory of Walker’s beautiful life and career in the Fast and Furious franchise. He will live on forever in the memories of the millions of fans who love his films.
7. Paul Hennessy
John Ritter passed away suddenly of an undiagnosed heart condition and misdiagnosed heart attack while filming the TV show 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter. The sitcom’s producers didn’t attempt to replace Ritter.
Instead, they decided to write his untimely death into the series. They felt like no one could play the part like he did, so replacing him would have been a waste.
8. Bill McNeal
Likewise, NewsRadio continued after star Phil Hartman was tragically murdered by his wife. The first show after Hartman’s death featured a touching tribute to him with a visibly emotional cast.
It’s hard to keep working when someone you care about passes away, especially under such tragic circumstances, but they did their best to continue on like Hartman would have wanted.
9. Eddie LeBec
Jay Thomas played Eddie LeBec but was killed off during season 7 of Cheers due to remarks he made about costar Rhea Perlman.
In addition to calling Perlman, who played his wife on the show, ugly, Thomas stated on his radio show that he received “combat pay” for kissing Perlman’s character, Carla, on the show. It’s one thing to have some reservations about fellow cast members, but Thomas definitely took things too far with his mean comments.
10. Maude Flanders
Ned Flanders’ wife, Maude, was killed off of The Simpsons because the voice actress, Maggie Roswell, lived out of state in Denver. When the price of plane tickets increased, Roswell asked for a raise so that she could afford her biweekly trips to Los Angeles for voice recording.
The producers didn’t want to pay for her flights anymore, so Roswell quit and was replaced by Marcia Mitzman Gaven. But producers quickly decided it would be best to kill off Maude’s character altogether so that the show could boost ratings by adding new storylines. As a result, Maude met her mortal end by falling off a grandstand at Springfield Speedway.
Tommy Chong’s character was written out of That ’70s Show for nine months. The reason why? Chong had to serve jail time because he was arrested for selling illegal paraphernalia.
Oh, the irony! It’s not super surprising that Chong got hit with a charge like that, but it still affected his time on the classic television show.
Steve Burns from Blues Clues left the show because he was going bald. Burns refused to lose his hair on a children’s show in front of thousands of people.
Because of his sudden replacement on the show, rumors began to circulate that Burns had died or gone to rehab. In reality, Burns didn’t die or go to rehab but was simply pursuing his passion for music.
13. Mr. Hooper
Mr. Harold Hooper (played by Will Lee) was a beloved human character on Sesame Street. After Lee’s passing, the creators of Sesame Street decided to dedicate an episode to explaining Mr. Hooper’s death to their young audience in a gentle way instead of recasting his role.
The resulting episode, “Farewell, Mr. Hooper,” remains one of the most poignant moments in children’s TV history. It won numerous industry honors, including a Daytime Emmy and a Peabody Award.
More importantly, though, it taught a generation of children and their parents about the hard fact of mortality, and it provided a blueprint for tackling difficult subjects with children.
14. Kyra Hart
Scarlett Pomers played Kyra on the show Reba. She left the show in 2005 to get treatment for anorexia after dropping down to an alarming 73 pounds.
Work should never come before health, and it’s a relief that she was able to take time away from the spotlight to get help.
15. The Doctor
William Hartnell was the first Doctor in the original run of Doctor Who. Hartnell was an older man, and he eventually became too frail to continue his work.
He wanted to leave, but the writers wanted to continue the show; so they came up with the idea of having the Doctor “regenerate” into a younger actor. That plot device has allowed the show runners to regularly switch the Doctor’s appearance while still keeping the character in the show.