Top 10 TV Stars Who Shockingly Left Their Shows

Tags: #TwoAndHalfMen ,   #TheWalkingDead ,   #OneTreeHill ,   #TheVampireDiaries

Julia Adams

Julia Adams

Last updated:  2023-03-11 06:00:05

Do you remember how you felt when your favorite character died or left the series? Yeah, we've all been through stages of pure sadness, emptiness, and, eventually, anger. It's not fun coming to terms with the fact that the show won't ever be the same. Today we've made a painful list of our top ten stars exiting popular TV series.

10. Moira Kelly Slowly Disappearing in "The West Wing"

Mandy left like she never existed!

The "West Wing" is a workplace drama series in the President of the USA's offices. Kelly played Mandy, who started on the opposite side of the fence and later joined the White House as a media consultant. Mandy was appearing less and less as season one progressed, and by the next one, she was just gone

The cringiest thing was that none of the characters acknowledged her leaving. Her disappearance became so well-known among TV fans that it created a new phrase - "Gone to Mandyville."

9. Sandra Oh Walked Away From "Grey's Anatomy"

Cristina Yang was beloved "Grey's Anatomy" character

Many say they grew up watching hundreds of episodes of "Grey's Anatomy." The medical drama series premiered in 2005 on ABC and captivated the audience worldwide immediately. Many from the original cast left the show throughout the years, but the most significant blow was Sandra Oh's departure

In 2013 she announced that she would leave "Grey's Anatomy" after the end of season 10. The viewers loved Sandra's character, Christina Young, for her ambitious and sharp personality. All we want to say to Christina is, "You're our person."

8. Chad Michael Murray/Hilarie Burton Left "One Tree Hill"

Both Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Bunton left on their own terms

"One Tree Hill" was a viral teen drama series in the early 2000s. The story initially revolves around two half-brothers' lives, the school's basketball team, and their personal drama. One of the saddest moments for the fans was when Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and his love interest Peyton (Hilarie Burton) left the show. 

Later, it was made public that they won't return for season seven. Murray openly spoke about exiting the series, as he explained there was a disagreement in contract negotiations. On the other hand, Burton said it was a mutual decision between her and the showrunners.

7. Nina Dobrev Disappointed Fans by Leaving "The Vampire Diaries"

Nina Dobrev eventually returned to "The Vampire Diaries" finale

Nina Dobrev played the characters of a naive teen girl Elena Gilbert and a badass vampire Katherine Pierce in a hit supernatural series, "The Vampire Diaries." The show took us by storm as we were locked to our TV screens for eight seasons.

However, it was a disappointment when the main character, Elena, decided to leave after six years. Why did Nina Dobrev leave the vampire diaries? She explained it was time for her to move on and take on new challenges as she wanted to grow as a person and an actress. Fun fact - some people claim it was the personal drama that led to her exit, as she broke up a romantic relationship with her on-screen flame Ian Somerhalder. Still, she came back for the series finale.

6. Steve Carell Parts Ways with "The Office"

"The Office" couldn't survive without Steve Carell

When Steve Carell left "The Office" after season seven, hearts were broken. The comedy series continued for two more years, but it just wasn't the same after the exit of our goofy main character Michael Scott. So, why Steve Carell left the office?

Steve made some comments about possibly leaving the show when his contract expires. Around that time, there was a guard change of executives on NBC, and there wasn't a genuine interest in the series when the new leadership arrived. The ratings dropped immediately, and we're sure NBC regretted their decision.

5. Andrew Lincoln Quits "The Walking Dead"

Andrew Lincoln was very open about his decision to leave the show while speaking at San Diego Comic Con

For a large part of its airing, "The Walking Dead" was one of our favorite series. It's a post-apocalyptic horror drama that portrays the complicated relationships of people trying to survive and unveil complex and captivating characters. However, it was already in its declining phase for some time before Andrew Lincoln decided to leave.

It was a decision he made for personal reasons, as he wanted to spend more time with his family in the UK. If it's any consolation, the character of Rick Grimes was not killed off in the series, leaving the fans guessing about the possible return. Later, it was confirmed officially by AMC that Rick's adventures would continue on film.

4. Topher Grace's Departure From "That '70s Show"

Topher Grace would still love "That '70s Show" to come back

Have you watched "That '70s Show?" It helped launch the careers of today's stars like Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, among others. The sitcom that aired for nine seasons will always have a special place in our hearts. Our beloved character Eric Forman, played by Topher Grace, was the series' soul.

The show took a hit after his departure at the end of season seven. The actor felt that portraying Eric was holding him back from opportunities as he aspired to have a successful movie career. Of course, the sitcom series lasted only two more seasons after losing one of the prominent cast members, as fans were left feeling empty.

3. David Duchovny Gets Fed Up With "The X-Files"

Mulder was the perfect contrast to Scully

"The X-Files" is a cult science fiction, paranormal television series broadcast for 11 seasons. The storyline is developed around FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and his partner Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).

Duchovny left the show as a regular cast member after season seven, as he reappeared on the show later on. The actor later sued FOX for alleged deceptive accounting that cost him millions in royalties. Yet, he eventually settled, leaving with $20 million. Allegedly, "The X-Files" creator and producer, Chris Carter, was aware of this situation, and their relationship was affected. "The truth is out there," agent Mulder often said in the series.

2. Jim Parsons Doesn't Renew His Contract With "The Big Bang Theory"

Once Sheldon was out, it was time to end "The Big Bang Theory"

TBBT is a comedy TV show that follows a group of society's black sheep - nerds, who only have their intellect going for them. What people found endearing about the characters is that they were pure-hearted and thoughtful. The final season 12, was the most-viewed entertainment show on all networks.

It was quite a surprise when the central star Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper, decided not to renew his contract. CBS network then canceled the series, thus avoiding the usual pitfall of continuing after the primary character leaves.

1. Charlie Sheen Gets Fired in "Two and a Half Men"

"Two and Half Men" couldn't survive without Charlie

The controversial actor portrayed the character of Charlie Harper for eight seasons until he got fired in 2011. The show killed him and replaced him with Ashton Kutcher, who played Walden. Of course, this was a shock for the enormous viewership of the series. Charlie had addiction issues, amongst other things, but his comments about the creator and producer of the show Chuck Lorre finally put an end to Harper.

The sitcom continued for four more seasons, but Kutcher failed to replace the charisma of Sheen. In the series finale, there were digs directed at Charlie, as some people don't forgive and forget.

At the end of the day, actors will exit shows, either by choice or not, and we've tried to honor them with our top ten list. Of course, as always, we would like to hear your opinion on the topic, as we're sure there are more of them worth mentioning. 

Who makes your top ten list of TV stars that left their shows? Share your suggestions with us in the comments. 

Cover photo: YouTube screenshot



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Shannon White Says:

Two and Half Men became unwatchable after Charlie left.

July 18 at 01:27:42 PM

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