Strange reasons why TV actors left a show.

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Strat-Mangler, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Started watching Law & Order from the first episode onward.

    • One of the two detectives, played by George Dzundza, left the show after the first season as he didn't enjoy the commute between NYC and LA. His wife was pregnant and he insisted on visiting her every chance he got. It got to a point where the producers apparently threatened to sue him if he held up shooting to be with his wife when she gave birth. The first episode of season 2, that character gets killed in the first scene... and we don't even see his face so they probably got a stand-in.

    • Paul Sorvino left because he felt TV work was damaging his opera singing voice.

    Another weird one was the first DA, played by Michael Moriarty. According to iMDB...

    • "Michael Moriarty resigned at the end of the fourth season after a long, vocal battle of words with Attorney General Janet Reno, who was making efforts to censor television violence. He felt that NBC was trying to silence him when two talk show appearances on the network were pulled at the last moment and his role was reduced considerably in the fourth season episode "Mayhem." Dick Wolf claims this was entirely coincidental. Moriarty claims he was forced into a situation where he had to resign. His character, EADA Ben Stone, also resigned on the show. After quitting the series, Moriarty moved to Canada, where he considered forming a political party."

    What are some other weird reasons or situations which transpired that made for some actors to leave?
     
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  2. Radio Jammor

    Radio Jammor Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    The late Stephen Hill, who was also on Law and Order, was essentially forced to leave Mission: Impossible because of his strict adherence to his faith as an Orthodox Jew, which meant not filming on The Sabbath. The show's episodes increasingly went on around him, cutting him out as much as possible, until he was suspended as, " he refused to climb the rafters via a soundstage staircase as was called for in the script." Hill did not return for season two and was replaced by Peter Graves, so "Good Morning Mr Briggs" became "Good Morning Mr Phelps".
     
  3. I'm sure that Moriarty's problems with alcohol probably played a part as well.
     
  4. I'm sure that Hill probably didn't regret it all that much his career kind of went into the dumper afterwards. It made Graves a star. Martin Landau left over a salary dispute which seems pretty normal (heck Landau didn't even want to commit to be a full time cast member). Supposed Hill also was disruptive during shooting. What that means, I guess maybe he showed up late, would fight with directors, etc. which ended up delaying or shutting down shooting.
     
  5. Radio Jammor

    Radio Jammor Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    Sounds like a classic The Employer says this versus the Employee says that scenario. It seems to be undisputed that Hill said beforehand that he would leave before sundown every Friday, no matter what. For others that could mean being "disruptive".

    As for his career tanking, that again sounds like his being blacklisted.
     
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  6. I do have to give him credit--I never heard him (or read about him) complaining and he returned to stage work doing what he enjoyed doing.

    I wouldn't doubt that he was blacklisted to a degree--he was thought to be difficult to work with (or at least that was the perception) and, as a result, no one did. Of course no one tried to find out what his entire side of the story was.
     
  7. Dr. Funk

    Dr. Funk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort worth tx
    Tommy Chong was written off The 70's Show because he went to prison for selling pot paraphernalia.
     
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  8. She didn't so much leave as was forced off "Star Trek"--Grace Lee Whitney. She was raped by a network executive as I recall which helped her tumble into booze which damaged her career and resulted from her being released from "Star Trek".
     
  9. Radio Jammor

    Radio Jammor Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    Not entirely sure that qualifies as 'strange', these days...
     
  10. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Member Of The Midnight Society

    Location:
    Greater St. Louis
    Instead of a melt down, Charlie Sheen said he left Two and a Half Men for what he called a "melt forward." :)
     
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  11. No doubt--I wasn't really thinking strange per se just ...sad. It was really sad though as she was kind of just discarded.
     
  12. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    If I remember correctly another reason for her dismissal was that the producers decided that having a love interest for Kirk would cramp his style - the whole Kirk as Lothario Of The Galaxy thing could not have happened had Yeoman Rand remained on the show. But that may have been a after-the-fact rationalization. The rape and her subsequent alcohol problems certainly did occur.
     
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  13. I haven't read about it in a while but I believe that Whitney discovered that the executive who suggested that was the one who raped her.
     
  14. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Seems likely, unfortunately and disgustingly.
     
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  15. Radio Jammor

    Radio Jammor Active Member

    Location:
    UK
    Jennifer Esposito was written out of Blue Bloods following being diagnosed with celiac disease and advising that her condition would limit her availability to work.
     
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  16. Luvtemps

    Luvtemps Forum Resident

    Location:
    P.G.County,Md.
    Pernell Roberts,who had an ego the size of Texas left[Bonanza]because he decided that the scripts were beneath him.
     
  17. Scooterpiety

    Scooterpiety Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oregon
    Gretchen Corbett was fired from her recurring role in The Rockford Files when studio management asked for a raise from the production company.
    Gretchen herself didn't ask for a raise and didn't even know about it until after she was fired.
     
  18. Higlander

    Higlander Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, Central
    Denise Crosby.

    Not sure it qualifies as unusual, but she felt trapped in her role and like it was not going anywhere, on Star Trek Next Generation, but her leaving lead to Nothing better.
     
  19. Deesky

    Deesky Forum Resident

    True, for a while, but then she then kept coming back as Tasha's clone or her own mother or Romulan or whatever other excuse they could come up with...
     
  20. Michael Rose

    Michael Rose Forum Resident

    Location:
    Davie,Fl
    It's difficult to predict a 'hit' show. Even then, some actors would rather be a big fish in a small pond than role player in a big show.
     
  21. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Toronto
    Perhaps but I always thought they were clever ways. The first time was in Yesterday's Enterprise, a time-traveling episode. Then, it was as her daughter. And one more time in a time-traveling episode in the finale.
     
  22. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    Not quite. This is from an earlier thread
    --------------------------
    From Pernell Roberts Wiki page
    Roberts, having largely been "a stage actor, accustomed as he was to a rigorous diet of the classics" (Playbill January 26, 2010) and to freely move about from part to part, found the "transition to a television series," playing the same character, "without costume changes," a difficult one ("Bonanza" and "Trapper John" Star dies, January 25, 2010, Alan Duke, CNN). "It was perhaps not surprising that, despite enormous success, he bolted from "Bonanza" after the 1964-65 season, criticizing the show's simple-minded content and lack of minority actors...". It particularly distressed him that his character, a man in his 30's, had to defer continually to the wishes of his widowed father and he reportedly disliked the series itself, calling it — "junk" television and accused NBC of "perpetuating banality and contributing to the dehumanization of the industry." The equally self-critical Roberts ("I guess I'll never be satisfied with my own work"-Chicago Tribune, August 19, 1965), "had long disdained the medium's commercialization of his craft and its mass production, assembly-line mindset" (The Tidi Tudorancea Bulletin, English Edition, October 6, 2010- web).

    Frustrated with Bonanza and angry, he told a reporter in 1965, "I feel I'm an aristocrat in my field of endeavor. My being part of Bonanza was like Isaac Stern sitting in with Lawrence Welk" (Ponderosa Gold Under A Painted Sky, Joanne Stang, p. 305 in "Popular Culture," by David Manning, 1975).

    In much later interviews, Roberts denied statements about Bonanza attributed to him. "I did not enjoy Bonanza anymore...but I never said those things people said I said." (The Pittsburgh Press, 1979). He was however, "too smart not to recognize its weaknesses" (TV Guide, 1982). In a 1963 Washington Post interview, he asked a reporter, "Isn't it a bit silly for three adult males to have to ask father's permission for everything they do?" (Washington Post, January 25, 2010). "They told me the four characters (Lorne Greene, patriarch Ben, Dan Blocker and Michael Landon as his brothers) would be carefully defined and the scripts carefully prepared, none of it ever happened," he complained to The Associated Press in 1964. He objected to how Bonanza portrayed the relationship between the "father" and adult "sons," describing it as adolescent ((Mike Douglas Show, 1966), lacking in "truth" and lacking in "reality" ("Weekly World News, August 4, 1981, page 29).

    Roberts acknowledged reasons for Bonanza's appeal, but pointed to his personal need for story lines with greater social relevance, adult themes and dialogue. He wanted Bonanza to be "a little more grown up," (Mike Douglas Show, 1966). He also noted too that he was not suited to the "procedural" and "confining aspect" of series television, another reason for his dissatisfaction, while on the show (Mike Douglas Show, 1966).

    Roberts, had had high hopes for what he could contribute to Bonanza, was disappointed with the direction of the show, the limitations imposed on his Bonanza character and on his acting range. In a newspaper interview he said, "I haven't grown at all since the series began...I have an impotent role. Wherever I turn there's the father image," (This Time Pernell Won't Need a Tuba, Washington Post, May 1, 1963, Lawrence Laurent).

    Finally, after disagreements with writers and producers over the quality of the scripts, characterization, and Bonanza's refusal to allow him to perform elsewhere while on contract, Roberts "turned his back on Hollywood wisdom and well-meant advice," and left, largely to return to legitimate theater (Washington Post, January 25, 2010; New York Daily News January 26, 2010, Mike Douglas Show, 1965, 1966), Henry Darrow Archival Interview; USA Today, January 25, 2010).

    Roberts fulfilled but did not extend his six-year contract for Bonanza, and when he left the series, his character was eliminated with the explanation that Adam had "moved away." Later episodes suggested variously that Adam was "at sea", had moved to Europe, or was on the East Coast, running that end of the family business. The last episode Pernell Roberts worked on was "Dead and Gone", air date April 4, 1965. He appeared in the next two that aired which were filmed prior to "Dead and Gone" — "A Good Night's Rest", air date April 11, 1965 and "To Own The World", air date April 18, 1965. The story line was kept open in case Roberts wished to return, but he never did. In television interviews, Roberts said that he would have stayed with Bonanza, had he been allowed to do so on a part-time basis to enable him to return to theater (Mike Douglas Show, 1966). Bonanza producer David Dortort described Roberts as "rebellious, outspoken... and aloof," but, as one who "could make any scene he was in better..." (Archive Interview-web). In a later archive interview, he regretted not having insisted on a "marriage for Adam" and having Roberts continue on the show as a semi-regular. He added, "I must confess..I was "too hard on him. I did not appreciate him. I knew he was good, but I didn't realize he was that good...none better." (Archive Interview 2002; Bonanza, The Official First Season, Volume 1, Feature, CBS/Paramount, 2009). In the last two "Bonanza" movies that aired on NBC in the early 1990s, the story line stated that Adam, now in Australia, had equaled his father's success, dominating the engineering/construction business.

    In 1979, Roberts again achieved "superstar" status (TV Guide, 1982) as the lead in Trapper John, M.D. (1979–86), receiving an Emmy nomination in 1981; and playing the character twice as long as Wayne Rogers had (1972–1975) on the CBS M*A*S*H series. Roberts told TV Guide (1979) that he chose to return to weekly television after watching his father age, and realizing that it was a vulnerable time to be without financial security. "The show allowed Roberts to both use his dramatic range and address issues," wrote The Independent.

    Of the period between series, Roberts said he enjoyed moving around and playing different characters. During that time, he also toured university campuses conducting seminars on play production, acting and poetry.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The point is that he was a stage actor who chafed under the constraints of Bonanza. They could have kept him as part of the show, with a few concessions, but no. He went back to the stage for a very successful theatre career, as well as the huge number of guest shots on dozens of shows. He was happy with his career and I suppose that counts for something. Trapper John MD was an ensemble cast show that gave most of the rest of the cast a chance to shine, something that he was pleased about, and he was not always central in the stories.
     
  23. Luvtemps

    Luvtemps Forum Resident

    Location:
    P.G.County,Md.
    I knew this,and as I stated his ego got the best of him,isn't it strange that after leaving[Bonanza]he would turn up on westerns like[The Big Valley]which was far below[Bonanza]as far as quality writing and [Trapper John M.D.]below average.
     
  24. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    It was implied that Capt. Kirk pretty much plowed his way through the female personnel on the Enterprise. Different times.
     
  25. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    Definitely not the first or only time that happened. I think Pernell Roberts is a good case in point.
     

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