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11 Celebrities That Ditched Famous Roles at the Height of Their Success

A good series is one that creates a special bond between you and its characters. I think today we can all say that we’ve felt that special bond with at least one character from a series, whether it be Sheldon Cooper from The Bing Bang Theory, Kelso from That 70’s Show, or Marissa from The OC. However, all of the actors that played the characters we just mentioned have something in common: when everything seemed to be peachy, they just left the show, right at the height of their success.

Just like those folks, many other actors made the same move. Bright Side made a compilation of some of our favorite actors that simply left a show that made them really famous, and found out what happened. And some of them have crazy stories behind their decisions, believe us!

1. Charlie Sheen was fired for bad behavior.

For 9 seasons, Charlie Sheen starred in one of Warner Bros. most successful sitcoms: Two and a Half Men. No one ever doubted that he was the star of the show; however, in 2011 the series was suddenly suspended. The reason behind this was that Charlie Sheen already had a pretty weird way of behaving on set and in his everyday life too. It is also said that he locked horns with Chuck Lorre, the creator of the show. This raised the question of how to deal with the personal problems between the 2 of them. In the end, the outcome wasn’t all that unexpected. Charlie Sheen was fired (his character was originally said to have died until the finale revealed his death was faked). He was later on replaced by Ashton Kutcher and the series began a new phase.

2. Anna Faris gave up a memorable role in her career.

Anna Faris is one of the world’s favorite comedy actresses and the star of the series Mom. However, after the seventh season, the actress suddenly decided that she would never again play the character of Christy, a single mother trying to make amends for some of the mistakes of her life. To this day we still haven’t figured out what happened there. It seems that there’s no apparent reason for her departure, besides moving on to new roles. Anna Faris even stated that Christy was one of the most rewarding characters of her career.

3. Ruth Wilson faced some serious trouble on set.

Ruth Wilson won a Golden Globe for her role as Alison Bailey in the series The Affair. That’s one of the many reasons why when she suddenly decided to leave the show, she pretty much left us all wondering what was going on. There seemed to be no reason to leave, especially in such a sudden way. But after a while she revealed what was going on behind the cameras. Not only was the actress suffering from a toxic work environment, but she was also unhappy with the fact that the writers somehow felt entitled to create scenes that she felt didn’t really fit in the series’ plot as a whole.

4. Christopher Meloni decided to not renew his contract.

After 12 years on television, the series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit lost one of its main characters, Elliot Stabler, played by actor Christopher Meloni. The reason behind this strange decision was that the production team and the actor could not agree on his contract terms. In the end, Meloni decided to simply not renew the contract and leave the show. Writers had a very elegant way of saying goodbye to the character in the story: Elliot Stabler simply retired.

5. Mischa Barton left the series because she wanted to do different things.

The actress had just as many problems in her personal life as Marissa Cooper, the character she played in the series The OC. It seemed that her departure from the production was imminent. According to her own statements, she no longer enjoyed playing the role. Her character died in a car accident as skeptical fans looked on.

6. Pamela Anderson preferred motherhood over acting.

Pamela Anderson’s name became known all over the world in the 1990s. That happened thanks to her role as a lifeguard on Baywatch which, as you probably agree, was iconic. However, when her first child was born, Pamela Anderson decided to focus on her family and leave the show for good.

7. Steve Carell left the show despite being the star of The Office.

Steve Carell is unmistakably one of the most beloved comedians in the world. His appearances in both film and television are often greeted with applause by the audience and, of course, The Office was no exception. So why did he leave? It turns out that the actor had a contract for 7 seasons. Once the 7 seasons were shot, he still hadn’t decided whether or not he wanted to stay for more. Unfortunately, even though he was actually more in favor of staying, in the end, NBC’s producers showed no interest in keeping him there. So that’s probably the reason why he was not really encouraged to make up his mind to stay.

8. Kourtney Kardashian had enough of being on a reality show.

For many, the fact that Kourtney Kardashian decided to simply leave the reality show she was starring in was a strange call. However, after 19 seasons, the model and actress decided to end her involvement in Keeping Up With The Kardashians. According to her own statements, the show created a toxic environment for her and her family, so instead, she built an empire of wellness and beauty products.

9. Jim Parsons was overwhelmed with life, so he called it quits and stopped playing Sheldon onscreen.

Sheldon Cooper’s face is so well-known that it goes without saying that he was one of the favorite characters in the series The Big Bang Theory. But after 12 years of success, Jim Parsons, the actor who brought to the small screen one of the most extravagant geniuses in the history of television, decided to leave the series. According to his own statements, this happened because he needed to try other things after having gone through “an intense summer,” in which he broke his foot and his dog died, all of which happened right before the crew started filming season 12 of the show. Faced with this fact, the producers had no other alternative but to end the show... That’s how important Sheldon Cooper was! That said, he went on to voice the character in Young Sheldon.

10. Jennifer Morrison decided to leave at a critical time for the series.

After 7 years of playing Snow White’s and Prince Charming’s daughter in Once Upon a Time, TV star Jennifer Morrison decided to leave the show for good. And even though the character of Emma Swan was an iconic one, the actress decided it was just time to move on and open up to new opportunities after nearly 13 years of playing exclusively television roles.

11. Ashton Kutcher left in search of more challenging projects.

Without a doubt, That ’70s Show was a big boost in Ashton Kutcher’s career. One could even say that it was thanks to this show that he jumped to fame... Still, after 7 seasons, the actor decided he’d had enough and didn’t renew his contract for an eighth season. What happened there was that, after conquering fame, he wanted to look for more ambitious projects in terms of acting. Kelso, his character, left the show claiming that he had moved to Chicago to be closer to his daughter. The actor reappeared as a special guest in the last season and at the end of the series.

Which of these dramatic departures seemed like the end of the show? Do you think that the shows that decided to go on without the characters that left did the right thing or should they just have stopped? Why?

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