Hollywood Stars Who Managed To Get Out Of Their Contracts Earlier Than Planned

Published on 08/09/2020
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It is already tough enough to get into the entertainment industry, but it is even harder to land gigs in big TV shows. The people that you will find on the list have starred in The Office, Breaking Bad, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, and other popular TV shows. However, there came a time when they just wanted to move on with their lives. These actors and actresses had to sign a contract with networks to ensure that they are committed to the show. One of the things on the documents would be the amount of time they are going to be on the project. However, they have all found one way or another to get out of the contracts earlier than they were meant to!

Actors Who Got Out Of Their Million Dollar Contracts Early

Actors Who Got Out Of Their Million Dollar Contracts Early

Dean Norris

All fans of Breaking Bad will know that the final season was divided into two parts. They went with this schedule to cater to the schedule of Dean Norris, who brought DEA agent Hank Schrader to life. The actor asked to be written off in order to work on the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Under the Dome. He did not want to have to pick between them, so it was a good thing that the producers came up with this idea. Norris is a busy guy who recently announced that he is going to reprise his old role in its spinoff, Better Call Saul. It will be nice to have him back as Hank!

Dean Norris

Dean Norris

Dan Stevens

Fans were heartbroken when Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, got killed off during the third season of Downton Abbey. According to Town and Country, the actor is “still apologizing” for how things went down. The producers of the show revealed that the only “credible” way to write off the character was to have him die. Asked why he requested to get out of the show, Stevens said that he did not want to renew the contract so that he could pursue other roles. Among other things, he has recently appeared in a Netflix comedy called Eurovision.

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens

T. R. Knight

Another TV death that broke the hearts of fans across the globe would be that of George O’Malley on Grey’s Anatomy. It was very sudden, so there was no way for viewers of the show to have prepared for it. Actor T.R. Knight had a pretty unique reason for leaving the medical drama. At the time, he had already worked on five seasons of the hit show. According to the actor, he made up his mind to leave thanks to the creative differences between him and Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the show. Considering the immense popularity of the show, we are sure that both parties took the contract negotiations seriously. In the end, ABC and Knight agreed that this was the best course of action.

T. R. Knight

T. R. Knight

Mclean Stevenson

M*A*S*H would not have been the same if it did not have Mclean Stevenson. However, the actor informed writer Ken Levine that it was not enough for him to be a minor player in an ensemble. He had been hoping to work on a project in a leading capacity. Levine accepted his decision, so the actor was written out of the show during the finale of the third season. Even though Stevenson did appear in Hello Larry, In the Beginning, Condo, and The Mclean Stevenson Show, and more, he has not yet gotten the leading role that he had been looking for.

Mclean Stevenson

Mclean Stevenson

Sigourney Weaver

There is still a chance that Sigourney Weaver will come back for another Alien installment like she has hinted at in the past. However, she decided to depart from the franchise for some time so that she can focus on other projects. Can you believe that she only received $35,000 for the first film even though it was such a defining performance for the franchise? Director James Cameron said that she was going to receive more money for the sequel and negotiated it to a million bucks, plus part of the profit. The actress admitted that she did not expect that the sci-fi series was going to take off like that. She only agreed to the low salary for the first installment as she believed that it was only a “small” movie.

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver

Leonard Nimoy

Recently, William Shatner made headlines by talking about the departure of Leonard Nimoy from Star Trek. It is fascinating to hear that Nimoy got to oversee the conclusion of Dr. Spock and even directed the death scene of his character in The Wrath of Khan. Back then, none of his castmates had any idea that he was going to abandon the franchise altogether. Director Nicholas Meyer, together with a few other people, knew of his decision. According to them, Nimoy left since he had “ambivalent” feelings about his role and wanted to move on with his life. The good news is that there is no bad blood. Shatner even said that their relationship had been “all great.”

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy

Dominic Monaghan

We highly doubt that we are the only ones who found LOST confusing. Dominic Monaghan was cast to play Charlie on the drama but asked to be written out after only thirteen episodes! In the end, the network executives and the actor came to an agreement that he could get out of the contract after the third season. The show had to be rewritten so that the character could get a premature death. Monaghan revealed that he made up his mind to leave since the “pressure” that came with the show was making the experience less enjoyable. Damon Lindelof, the director, said that he shed tears over his departure. Aside from that, he said that he could not believe that the show went on for as long as it did!

Dominic Monaghan

Dominic Monaghan

Ruby Rose

This actress surprised all of us when she let the world know that she was leaving Batwoman after only one season. Aside from the Arrowverse show, Ruby Rose is also known for her supporting role in a Netflix show called Orange is the New Black. It turns out that she decided on her departure because she did not enjoy the long hours involved in working on a starring role. She just felt like it was too demanding and asked the producers to let her go. The studio agreed with her request and has since recast a different actress to take over the role! We wonder if Javicia Leslie will handle it better.

Ruby Rose

Ruby Rose

John Francis Daley

For seven long years, John Francis Daley brought Lance Sweets to life on a Fox crime show called Bones. During the premiere of the tenth season, Sweets was killed off while he was about to have a child with his girlfriend. The character had been too involved in a conspiracy for his own good. Fans were devastated by this development, but there was a reason the actor requested this turn of events. Daley is a comedy writer who has penned The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Horrible Bosses, and more. Apparently, he wanted to quit the show so that he can have more time to work on his screenplays!

John Francis Daley

John Francis Daley

Emily Bett Rickards

Just so you know, Emily Bett Rickards did not decide to quit Arrow on a whim. She thought long and hard about it first. She asked to leave before the contract expired, but the producers waited until her contract was up before granting her request. Rickards brought Felicity Smoak to life on the hit CW show. The actress said that the role took “seven years of [her] twenties” and felt bad about her decision since fans had “fall[en] in love” with her character. This made it difficult for her to “say goodbye.” Despite this, she was determined to move forward and try other roles. If you ask us, she is going to tell you that seven seasons on the show was more than enough.

Emily Bett Rickards

Emily Bett Rickards

Christopher Meloni

The writers of Law & Order: SVU wrote off Elliott Stabler, who was portrayed by Christopher Meloni. It was a pretty sudden and anticlimactic conclusion to his work. However, the explanation for this came from contract negotiations that did not go well. The actor had been asking for a higher salary at the start of the twelfth season, a request that the network had not been willing to grant him. This is the reason the character instead got killed off during the finale. However, fans of the franchise will be happy to hear that he is going to make a comeback. In April 2020, Good Housekeeping announced that the actor is going to return to the legal drama. We cannot wait to see what happens!

Christopher Meloni

Christopher Meloni

Andrew Lincoln

Who would have thought that the guy who plays Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead is British? At any rate, Andrew Lincoln lives across the pond when he is not working on the show. While he was starring on the zombie show, he had to be away from his family for around half a year since he needed to stay in Georgia while shooting. After some time, he was no longer willing to make such a big sacrifice and quit the show. He was written off in the ninth season. In July 2019, he announced that he was going to come back but not for the show. The actor is instead going to reprise the role same for the TV movies.

Andrew Lincoln

Andrew Lincoln

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

The next person on our list is another LOST alum! Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje portrayed Eko on the show and was supposed to stay on for four seasons. However, he wanted to get out of it after only one season. The actor decided to do this after the death of his parents. This made him want to return to London and be there with his family. In the end, the producers agreed. Even though they offered the actor to make a guest appearance in the finale of the show, he said no. He is a busy guy who even appeared in Suicide Squad and Thor: The Dark World.

Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Josh Charles

It took a year before Josh Charles could leave The Good Wife. His contract was up, which made him think about whether to return or not. Around that time, he proposed to his girlfriend of the time as well! In the end, he decided that he was not going to come back to the show. The writers had no choice but to kill off Will Gardner, his character, as a plot twist. The New York Times went as far as to say that his death made viewers “gasp.” It goes without saying that audiences had been sad to have to say goodbye to his character on the show!

Josh Charles

Josh Charles

Raymond Cruz

As Tuco Salamanca in Breaking Bad, Raymond Cruz made the character memorable by turning him into such a live wire. Cruz explained that he wanted to be written off because he would get too physically drained on the set. He explained that working on the set for twelve to fourteen hours a day had been “physically, emotionally, and mentally” tiring for him. When the character killed off, the actor admitted to feeling “happy.” He also said that he had a hard time dealing with the brutality of his character, who he later reprised in Better Call Saul.

Raymond Cruz

Raymond Cruz

Connie Britton

Here is another early show departure that came about due to “creative differences.” Nashville moved from major network ABC to smaller CMT, which only helped her make up her mind. The actress wanted to move on with her life, but she felt “torn” about it since she loved the show. However, her creative differences with the way her character and the plot were handled had been too much. The drama series was eventually canceled after its sixth season. Even though the show had decent ratings and good reviews upon its premiere, it did not keep this momentum. When ABC canceled it after the fourth season, CMT picked it up at the behest of the fans. Two years after that, it put the ax down for good.

Connie Britton

Connie Britton

Harrison Ford

Is it even up for debate that Harrison Ford was one of the greatest things about Star Wars? At one point, however, he was concerned that playing Han Solo would result in being “typecast.” He did not want to keep doing “tough guy, action hero” roles forever. Could we take it to mean that, with his work on Indiana Jones, he has since forgotten this fear? At any rate, he did reprise his role later on. In fact, he was the one to come up with the idea of the guest appearance in The Rise of Skywalker. However, he asked not to be listed in the previews or credits to make it a surprise!

Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford

Patrick Dempsey

In 2019, Patrick Dempsey was interviewed by People and talked about why he decided to leave Grey’s Anatomy. On the show, he plays the dreamy Derek Shepherd. Apparently, he wanted to get out of the contract earlier in order to focus on both his family and career as an auto-racer. The actor explained that he “probably should have moved on” several seasons before that. However, he emphasized that there is no bad blood between him and Shonda Rhimes, even saying that it had been an “amicable” decision. The actor said that leaving the show was just the “end of a chapter” for him.

Patrick Dempsey

Patrick Dempsey

Sasha Alexander

On NCIS, Sasha Alexander became known as Caitlin Todd. She decided to leave the show over the same thing that made Ruby Rose leave Batwoman: it was too demanding! Later on, producers talked about how Alexander informed them that the work was just too taxing on her physical and mental health. This was the reason they wrote her off. When the network released an official statement on her departure, it said that the actress was released from the contract so that she can “pursue other opportunities.” When talking to TV Guide, she said that she did not regret it.

Sasha Alexander

Sasha Alexander

Justin Chambers

Here is another case of wanting to diversity his career. Justin Chambers had been a part of Grey’s Anatomy for fifteen years before he left in early 2020. According to him, there was really “no good time” to leave since he felt that the show “defined [his] life” for most of two decades. Reports say that he wanted to leave to pursue other opportunities. He was allegedly looking for new projects that had nothing to do with the medical drama. In January 2020, an ABC representative informed CNN about his departure. Fans were sad to learn that they would no longer see him after the episode “My Shot.”

Justin Chambers

Justin Chambers

Steve Carrell

It was hard for fans of The Office to imagine the show without Michael Scott, who Steve Carrell played. When he left the show, it left a massive void and resulted in bad ratings and the cancellation of the show after the ninth season. The actor left two years before that, allegedly so that he would be able to focus on his film career. In the spring of 2020, a new book reveals that this was not the reason behind this. It turns out that his contract expired, so he asked for a raise. NBC denied his request and refused to renew the contract. The network thought that the sitcom could survive without him, but they turned out to be wrong about that! In the end, this move cost them a lot of viewers and revenue.

Steve Carrell

Steve Carrell

Mischa Barton

Why did Mischa Barton leave The O.C.? Well, she hoped to pursue other roles and had gotten tired of the teen show. She says that it was her decision, that she asked to get written off the show. She played Marissa Cooper on the show, who later died in a car crash. Originally, the writers thought of just making her move to a different town. However, the actress did not think that this was the right thing to do for the character. It did not keep with the spirit of the teenaged girl. She explained that, after all, Marissa Cooper was a “burnout” who was not the type to “sail off into the sunset.”

Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas played Randy on Home Improvement but left to focus on his education. The actor made the decision to leave the entertainment industry altogether later on. As you can imagine, his legion of fans had been devastated to hear about this piece of news! In 2013, he participated in an interview and claimed to have no regrets about his decision to leave Hollywood. According to the actor, he had been “going nonstop” ever since the age of eight and did not want to keep going. He eventually reunited with Tim Allen by appearing in Last Man Standing.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Amy Carlson

In 2018, the actress took to Instagram to confirm that she was leaving Blue Bloods. On the show, Linda was killed off in a chopper crash. Amy Carlson eventually explained that she decided to leave the show because she was hoping to move on with her acting career. A lot of fans felt upset about the fact that her death on the show happened between seasons. Carlson said that Donny Wahlberg, who was her onscreen husband, was a “generous” guy and had been “sweet about her departure.” The actress also said that she knew it was going to come as a surprise not only to her fans but also to her castmates. But her contract had already expired, and she wanted to pursue other things in life.

Amy Carlson

Amy Carlson

Topher Grace

It is hard to imagine That 70’s Show without Topher Grace, but we had no choice when he wanted to leave. He asked for the team to write off Eric, his character, so that he can focus on his film career. The filming schedule for the sitcom made it hard for him to acquire movie gigs, after all. His departure on the show led to a drop in ratings. After he left, Ashton Kutcher followed suit. The sitcom was canceled not long after that. Over the years, Grace has appeared in movies such as Take Me Home Tonight and Spider-Man 3, so it looked like his gamble paid off in the end!

Topher Grace

Topher Grace

Nicollette Sheridan

We want you to know that Nicollette Sheridan had a different reason for leaving Desperate Housewives and leaving Dynasty. When it comes to the former, the actress left because the writers killed off her character. However, she did not intend to let go of Alexis Carrington. However, she had no choice but to do so because of a family emergency. She wanted to leave so that she can look after her mother, who at the time was seriously ill. In March 2019, she left the show and was replaced by a new actress for the role of Alexis Carrington. What a sad way to go, but that’s life.

Nicollette Sheridan

Nicollette Sheridan

Suzanne Somers

As Chrissy Snow, Suzanne Somers succeeded at charming TV viewers! This is the reason fans had been so heartbroken when she had to leave Three’s Company after unsuccessful contract negotiations with the network. Back then, ABC was paying her only $30,000 per episode. She has explained that she asked for a rise as part of the negotiations. Sadly, the network denied her requests. This was why she left the show and had to be replaced by Jenilee Harrison for the role.

Suzanne Somers

Suzanne Somers

Sophia Bush

Let us find out why Sophia Bush jumped ship from Chicago P.D.. The news shocked fans, who loved the character on the police drama. The actress revealed that she wanted to leave the show when she joined a podcast by Dax Shephard. She said that even though she was “programmed” to push through the taping, it had been far too tiring for. Even though she liked and missed certain aspects of the project, she has said that leaving the show when she did was the best thing for her mental health.

Sophia Bush

Sophia Bush

Emmy Rossum

For nine long years, Emmy Rossum starred in Shameless. The actress took to Facebook to talk about the reason behind her surprising departure. She explained that she loved her coworkers, who felt like her family by then. In particular, she extended her gratitude to John Wells for helping her hone her talents as an actress. She said that she felt the need to leave the show so that she could pursue other acting gigs. According to her, she did not expect that the dark comedy would last that long and wanted to do something else. In the end, the crew wrote her off after she won a huge sum of money.

Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum

Shemar Moore

As Derek Morgan, Shemar Moore was a fan favorite on Criminal Minds for years on end. He said that he had already “grown” by taking on the job and would miss the show and the character. However, he wanted to have a personal life, which the show was preventing him from doing. He informed TV Guide about the decision to leave by saying that he was looking to “pursue” other things in life such as traveling, marrying, and having kids. The actor did not have a lot of free time to do these things thanks to the demanding filming schedule of the show, so he felt like he had to leave.

Shemar Moore

Shemar Moore

Damon Wayans

Lethal Weapon was shaken to its core when show regular Damon Wayans announced his departure from the show. He said that he was doing it because of “health reasons.” In 2018, he officially left the role of Roger Murtagh after the taping was over. However, what made things a bit complicated was that his contract has not yet expired at the time! During the three seasons that the show ran on Fox, it saw a number of cast swap-outs until it came to an end in 2019. Since he left the show, the actor has made his comeback in Hollywood by acting and producing films.

Damon Wayans

Damon Wayans

Pauley Perrette

A favorite among fans of NCIS, Pauley Perrette was memorable for playing a quirky forensic examiner by the name of Abby. Fans were confused by her departure because it felt like it came from out of nowhere. On top of that, it meant that she would give up a huge salary. She later took to Twitter to say that she and the rest of the cast had been butting heads when it comes to the creative direction of the show. In her quest to seek fulfillment, she has said that she will likely never come back to the show.

Pauley Perrette

Pauley Perrette

Lecy Goranson

Over the years, Roseanne has seen different kinds of Beckys. However, it is hard to beat the first one, played by none other than Lecy Goranson. The actress abandoned the role of Becky Conner in the fourth season in order to go to Vassar College fulltime. She did not leave for good, however. The actress even came back for the final season! On top of that, she was set to work on the reboot of the show, but the revival was eventually canceled after the original star Roseanne Barr posted racist tweets.

Lecy Goranson

Lecy Goranson

David Caruso

Praised for its realism and grittiness, NYPD Blue made its mark as a groundbreaking police drama. However, it did get some flak for the way it handled nudity and alcoholism. In 1994, David Caruso took home a Golden Globe for his performance on the show. Despite the prestigious accolade, he chose to leave the show in its second season. There are two reasons for his departure. First of all, he asked for a rise, which was denied by the network. Second, he also wanted to pursue more film projects. If you are interested to learn more about it, you should check out the new memoir by Steven Bochco!

David Caruso

David Caruso

Nina Dobrev

After the finale of the sixth season, Nina Dobrev made up her mind to jump ship from The Vampire Diaries. A lot of fans assumed that it had something to do with her breakup with Ian Somerhalder, who played Damon on the teen series. This turned out to be wrong as they have remained good friends and had no issues working with each other. The real motivation behind her decision was that she “knew” that the character should only have a “six-season adventure.” According to the actress, she felt that Elena had already run her course and wanted to leave while the character was still at her peak.

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev

Shelley Long

The actress made up her mind to leave Cheers on December 15, 1986. It turns out that she decided that her character had already run its course. She and co-star Ted Danson had already delivered “really terrific work” on the show. At the time, Long wanted to work on more projects for the big screen. Her final episode on the show came out on May 7, 1987. Even though she was supposed to stay on for one more season, she left early. Her costar Kelsey Grammer said that she might have left partly because she disliked his character and got mad that he was made a regular on the show. According to him, she kept trying to cut out some of his one-liners from the show!

Shelley Long

Shelley Long

Farrah Fawcett

Thanks to her amazing performance in Charlie’s Angels, Farrah Fawcett was shot into stardom. Her famous 1976 swimsuit poster helped her get the highest amount of fan mail and the most media coverage among the Angels. Aside from that, she received critical acclaim for her depiction of the character. Sadly, she eventually admitted that she was not happy with the way that the show was portraying her and the other characters to the viewers. This was the reason she decided to leave after only one season of it. She made her last appearance on the hit TV show in May 1977.

Farrah Fawcett

Farrah Fawcett

Michael Keaton

We do not know who your favorite person to play Batman is, but Michael Keaton is definitely one of the greatest. After all, there is a reason his performance in Bat Returns got so much critical acclaim. However, he took off the Bat cape when Joel Schumacher replaced Tim Burton as the director of Batman Forever, the third installment in the series. Out of loyalty to Burton, Keaton made the decision to hand over the role to a different actor. This was how Val Kilmer ended up stepping in to take up the role of this dark superhero! We have to say that this is a pretty cool reason to leave a project.

Micheal Keaton

Micheal Keaton

Pamela Anderson

This star made it big by playing CJ Parker on Baywatch from the third season until the seventh. During her four years on the drama, she was able to become a cultural icon with her blonde locks and red swimsuit. However, she eventually decided that it was time for her to leave the show so that she could pursue more acting and modeling gigs. The good news is that it had been an amicable split. She eventually worked with her old castmates again for a 2003 reunion special called Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding. When her character had to be written off, the show decided to make CJ leave in order to go to Mexico with a musician! If you ask us, this is not a bad way to go.

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson

Crystal Reed

In case you did not know, it is not rare for producers to cast an adult to play a teen. This was true for Crystal Reed, who was cast to play the character Allison Argent in Teen Wolf. She eventually felt uncomfortable about the age difference between her and the character she was playing. You see, she was already in her mid-20s when she first started to work on the TV show. This was the reason she asked to leave the show in the third season. She, however, has said that she would be fine working on a reboot or spinoff of the show. She left to play Sofia Falcone in Gotham.

Crystal Reed

Crystal Reed

Steve Guttenberg

There are times when actors get tired of a role and can’t be bothered to care about it any longer. This was the fate of Steve Guttenberg and his lead role in Police Academy. In an effort to be typecast, he decided to leave the series. On top of that, he also grew disillusioned with the character. When the producers offered him a leading film role, he turned them down. According to the producers, he actually gave them a “firm no.” Aside from that, he did not take part in the sequels as well. Maloney, his character, would have been promoted to Lieutenant if he stayed on, but it was just not meant to be.

Steve Guttenberg

Steve Guttenberg

Josh Bowman

Fans could not believe the way Daniel Grayson died on Revenge. But the truth is that the actor had been the one to come up with the scene. Josh Bowman only wanted to help the story “move forward” since he felt like the character made it harder to do that. According to him, it might not have been “a good thing to leave a show,” but he knew that it had to happen. He said that the conclusion to his arc was “fitting,” so he felt happy with how the writers handled everything. However, fans did not share the sentiment. In fact, Hollywood Life said that he “shouldn’t have been killed off.”

Josh Bowman

Josh Bowman

Monica Raymund

For five years, Monica Raymund played Gabriela Dawson on Chicago Fire. However, she felt that this was enough time for her to stay in the role. After all, she was hoping to “diversify” her career by taking on more roles in other genres. However, the actress did come back for the midseason finale of the show, which demonstrated that there was no bad blood. On the show, the hardworking and strong-headed Gabriela left Chicago for a hurricane aide job that is based in Puerto Rico. Even though it was not a bad ending, it left a void in the story of her romantic interest and in the show in general.

Monica Raymond

Monica Raymond

Katherine Heigl

We do not think that it is up for debate that Katherine Heigl is a great actress. Over the years, she has seen a lot of ups and downs in her career. However, most people will know that her big break came when she appeared in Grey’s Anatomy and became one of the rising stars of the TV industry. After that, she landed a leading role in a comedy film called Knocked Up. However, her growing interest in the big screen did not go well with the shooting schedule of the medical drama. In the end, she decided to leave the show thanks to creative differences.

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl

Jerry Seinfeld

Seinfeld was a sitcom that starred and was created by Jerry Seinfeld. During its run of nine seasons, the ratings remained sky-high. This was the reason fans had been so confused when it came to an end. It turned out that the show ended since Jerry Seinfeld no longer wanted to do it. Reports claim that he decided to pull the plug on the show during the ninth season because he has a fascination with the number nine. On top of this, he also wanted to leave while the show was still on top! He wanted to go out on a high note instead of raking in more money with yet another season and risking its quality.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

Dave Chappelle

The comedian did not only say goodbye to The Chappelle Show, but he also bid adieu to comedy altogether. He decided to go on a long hiatus so that he could stay with his family in Ohio. He turned down a $50 million contract for two more seasons of the show. Sadly, his decision led to a falling out with his longtime collaborator and former close friend Neal Brennan. We are glad to see that he has since made a successful comeback to the world of comedy. When he talked about his decision to go on hiatus, he said that it was the result of a “crisis of conscience” and called his decision “stupid.”

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle

Jim Parsons

Fans of Big Bang Theory came to love Sheldon Cooper, who was played by Jim Parsons. The comedy show was a huge hit and remained on the air for twelve seasons. In reality, it was meant to go on for fourteen seasons, but the actor got in touch with creator Chuck Lorre to say that he could not “come back” since it had gotten “too difficult.” Hollywood Reporter said that the shooting schedule of the CBS sitcom was too demanding, and the actor wanted to take a break from it. His departure from the show marked the conclusion of the series, which simply could not go without him. Later on, the actor admitted that he was aware that the network did not want the show to end.

Jim Parsons

Jim Parsons

Lauren Cohan

One of the longest members of the cast of The Walking Dead would be Lauren Cohan. The actress had to fight hard to get equal pay with the male stars of the show since they had all been working on the show for the same amount of time. Sadly, she ended up losing this fight. This was the reason she left the show during its ninth season. Isn’t it ridiculous that the network refused to grant her very valid request? The actress said that she will “always love Maggie,” but she could no longer play her for this reason. Even though there are still rumors that she will return, nothing has been confirmed yet.

Lauren Cohan

Lauren Cohan

Michael Weatherly

This actor is best known for playing Tonny DiNozzo on NCIS. He took on this role for 305 episodes and became a fan favorite before he left in the thirteenth season. His character was written off after learning that the mother of his daughter died in Israel during an attack. The real reason the actor departed was that he was “burnt out” and wanted to work on new things. It was a risky thing for him, this much is clear. Another thing that motivated him to leave was that he was upset over the departure of Cote de Pablo from the show. Aside from the police procedural, he was also in Bull.

Michael Weatherly

Michael Weatherly

Skeet Ulrich

After four seasons on the show, Skeet Ulrich took to Instagram Live to tell fans about the reason he left Riverdale. He made a pretty opaque hit at the directors of the show. The actor played F.P., the dad of Jughead on the teen series. He explained that he ended up leaving since he “got bored creatively” and wanted to try out other things with his career. According to him, this was his “most honest answer.” He waited three months after the announcement of his departure to clarify why he reached that decision. His co-star Marisol Nichols decided to do the same thing and leave the show.

Skeet Ulrich

Skeet Ulrich

Matt Damon

Even though Matt Damon played Jason Bourne for a long time, he decided that it was time to leave the franchise for the same reason that Michael Keaton left Batman. It had everything to do with his loyalty to the director who brought it to life! His decision to leave was a response to the news that Paul Greengrass was not going to lead the fourth installment. In 2016, there were rumors going around that Damon and Greengrass were set to return for the sixth movie. Sadly, this did not come to fruition as Jeremy Renner replaced Damon as the leading man of the series. Who knows, it might still happen.

Matt Damon

Matt Damon

Ruth Wilson

Showtime drama The Affair has earned a lot of fans over the years. In 2019, many of them were sad to hear that Ruth Wilson would no longer be working on the show. The actress did not really explain why she did this, but it is almost certain that creative differences played a part in it. Her decision to leave the show took the viewers by surprise, even though it seemed like the inevitable fate of her character. It must be hard wondering how things would have gone if the show kept going as originally intended.

Ruth Wilson

Ruth Wilson

Rob Lowe

In 2002, people found out that Rob Lowe was going to leave The West Wing after CNN ran a story on it. It was later confirmed that he decided to leave because he was not happy with how much he was getting paid for it. He asked for a rise, which NBC turned down. This was the reason he decided to leave the show. After this, he went on to work for ABC on a show called Brothers and Sisters but eventually came back to NBC to star in Parks and Recreation. Once the sitcom came to an end, Lowe started to work on a first responder drama called Fox 9-1-1: Lone Star.

Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe

Marg Helgenberger

The actress decided to leave CSI because of the same thing that made William Petersen do it. In 2000, she joined the cast of the show in the role of Catherine. She played this character for twelve years before deciding that it was time to let go of it. In 2012, she announced that she was going to leave so that she can explore other acting opportunities. The writers decided to write her out by making her leave the team after assassins started targeting her. Her twelve-year stint on the show ended when she left to work for the FBI in Quantico. Needless to say, fans were upset to see Marg Helgenberger go.

Marg Helgenberger

Marg Helgenberger

Chad Michael Murray

Fans could not believe it when One Tree Hill came back without Chad Michael Murray. He had been on the show for seven seasons but was nowhere to be found in the eighth season. Even though he was a fan favorite, he had to leave after unsuccessful contract disputes and negotiations. He asked for a higher salary, but the network denied it. The numbers did not add up, which is why he chose to leave. Hilarie Burton ended up leaving the show for the same reason. In fact, the two of them made their last appearance within the same episode! Burton later explained that it was “not a rash decision.”

Chad Michael Murray

Chad Michael Murray

Angus T. Jones

In the early 2000s, Angus T. Jones started to play Jake Harper in Two and a Half Men. He kept playing the same role for a while. Even though he has not explained the reason behind his departure, it was a long time coming for him. The character disappeared all of a sudden in the finale of the tenth season. CBS then announced that, by the eleventh season, Jake would no longer be a regular on the show. In 2014, the actor confirmed that he really was going to leave sitcom. However, the statement that he released about his decision had been quite murky, to say the least.

Angus T. Jones

Angus T. Jones

Daniel Gillies

Joel, the character played by Daniel Gillies, met his doom while pulling a bomb off a patient and killing himself in the process. It was a shocking finale, but we daresay that the departure of the actor from the show was not all that surprising. He had Vampire Diaries lined up, so he was more than ready for Saving Hope to come to an end. However, the actor continued to defend the show and showing that it had been an amicable split. When the network first canceled the show, he said that it was “bizarre,” “unfortunate,” and “unfair to the show.” After backlash from the fans, the Canadian medical drama was reinstated. Whew!

Daniel Gillies

Daniel Gillies

Jennifer Morrison

On the ABC fantasy drama Once Upon a Time, Jennifer Morrison had a leading role called Emma. In 2017, she shocked fans when she took to Instagram to announce that she was going to leave the show. She said that she was already “at an age” in which she wanted to spend more time with her friends and family. The actress said that she wanted nothing more than to “be home.” Aside from that, she explained that she wanted to have time to “do other creative things” and “have a personal life.” Morrison and the producers kept her decision a secret because they did not want to damage the “experience of the storytelling” for the fans of the show.

Jennifer Morrison

Jennifer Morrison

Kal Penn

In 2009, the death of Dr. Lawrence Kutner on House shocked the viewers. No one could believe that he took his own life! The character was killed off by the writers so that Kal Penn could pursue something that did not involve acting. When the actor talked to the LA Times, he revealed that he did not have any dramatic reason to leave the same. He said that there had been “no creative differences.” He simply felt like pursuing something outside of Hollywood because it felt like the right thing for him to do.

Kal Penn

Kal Penn

Anthony Edwards

In 2001, the world found out that Dr. Mark Greene was permanently hanging up his scrubs! Anthony Edwards brought the fan-favorite to life on ER from 1994. However, his contract was not enough to make him continue with the role even though it was worth $35 million. “I think the next season will be it,” he said at one point. “It’s been eight years of my family working around my schedule. It’s been a long time playing Dr. Greene.” Even though fans were sad to hear the news, it was a personal win for the actor. After such a long time on the show, he felt the need to focus on other bigger things.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards

Jeff Conaway

When Taxi first came out in 1983, Jeff Conaway had been a hit among the viewers. At the time, he had been looking for his big break after he played Kenickie in Grease. However, he did not see his career take off in the same way that John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John did. It was a good thing that the actor got his big break by playing Bobby Wheeler in the sitcom. Unfortunately, his issues with substance abuse affected his work. He had been on the show for three seasons, it soon became clear that he needed to get his act together. In 2011, he passed away at the age of 60.

Jeff Conaway

Jeff Conaway

Jason Priestley

When Jason Priestly was cast to play Brandon in Beverly Hills, 90210, he became an instant heartthrob. For eight years, he managed to impress the viewers with his knack for adapting to the silly plotlines of the show. By 1998, he decided that it was time to go. “I felt that the character of Brandon had kind of run his course. I had explored everything I wanted to explore with him,” he said. He went on, “I do regret leaving. Understanding what I do now about story and character, I believe that Brandon and Kelly would have ended up together at the end of the show and I think I should have stuck around to its fruition.”

Jason Priestley

Jason Priestley

Lisa Bonet

If you watched The Cosby Show and A Different World, you might remember Lisa Bonet in the role of the bright-eyed Denise. She was a fan favorite on the show, which is why a lot of people were shocked to see her leave in 1991. Some people assumed that it was her decision since she had been pregnant with her daughter at the time. However, the actress actually tried to look for a way to remain on the show. Debbie Allen said that Bill Cosby did not want her character to fall pregnant, which is why Lisa accepted that she had to leave the show that had been a part of her life for so long.

Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet

Wil Wheaton

During his time on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the actor brought Wesley Crusher to life. He became more of a central character as the seasons went on. Fans enjoyed the character, and Wil Wheaton enjoyed a loyal fan base thanks to his portrayal of it. After some time, however, he decided that he wanted to explore new roles. He admitted, “I left Star Trek: The Next Generation when I was 18-years old and initially I thought it was a really smart business career move. In some ways it was and in more ways it wasn’t.” Sadly, his career did not really take off in the way that he was hoping. However, it did see a resurgence of sorts when he was cast to play himself in Big Bang Theory.

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton

Chevy Chase

You have probably noticed the fact that plenty of stars leave projects because they either want a higher salary or to work on other things. However, Chevy Chase decided to leave Saturday Night Live because of a girl! He was one of the original cast members of the show, so people were shocked at his departure. We do not know about you, but we fully support him because of his epic reason for this move. “I left for a girl that I was in love with,” the comedian explained later on. “It had nothing to do with lucrative film deals awaiting me. I didn’t make a movie for three years. It was just a lot of bunk…I was very much in love with a girl who just would not leave California.”

Chevy Chase

Chevy Chase

Michael Learned

While Michael Learned was a single mother with no income and kids to raise, she started playing Ma Walton in The Waltons. She had no idea that the TV show was going to become such a huge hit! Six seasons later, she got written out to the disappointment of the fans. The actress explained that she had started to get bored with it and felt that her role became redundant after John-Boy returned. In an interview, she also explained that she would usually be sitting on the set for more than 14 hours with nothing much to do. This was one of the reasons she simply decided to move on to other things!

Michael Learned

Michael Learned

Sherry Stringfield

There are actors and actresses who wait their entire lives to look for success in the industry. Sherry Stringfield was not one of them. She lucked out by playing the role of Susan Lewis on ER for three seasons until she left the show to focus on her family. Eventually, she came back but ended up leaving once again. She later joined the NYPD Blue cast to play Laura Michaels Kelly. Sadly, the character was made redundant when the writers could not make any room for her. In the end, the actress just asked the producers to be let out of the contract so that she could work on other projects.

Sherry Stringfield

Sherry Stringfield

Nathalie Kelley

By landing the part of Cristal Flores in the CW reboot of Dynasty, Nathalie Kelley beat thousands of people hoping the play the character. However, she decided not to come back for the second season because it was just too much work for her. “I signed on before I ever read the script. There was a basic outline. I think I wasn’t up to the challenge of a nighttime soap,” she admitted when she was on TVLine. “I wasn’t prepared for that genre. It wasn’t something I had experience in…I can say that as an artist, I didn’t dig as deep as I could have. I felt limited and I felt stuck.”

Nathalie Kelley

Nathalie Kelley

Colton Haynes

In early 2020, Arrow came to an end and broke the hearts of its fans. Stephen Amell portrayed the title character of the comic book-based TV series. On the other hand, Colton Haynes played Roy Harper or Arsenal on the show. As a regular on the show, fans were puzzled why he was not in the final season of the show. The answer was that there simply was no need for it. “I didn’t exit the last season of Arrow. I was not asked to come back for the final season as a series regular. But y’all know Roy, he’s never gone for too long,” the actor explained. Even though he came back after a public outcry, it was not in the same capacity that he had in the past.

Colton Haynes

Colton Haynes

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