In production, as in real life, unforeseen things do happen: people move on, creative differences arise and sometimes an actor passes away. Over the years, different shows have coped differently with such circumstances. Some have written characters out or just forgotten about them. Others have tried to have the character played by a different actor with varying levels of success.
Let’s look at some of the most famous and infamous actor swaps in shows and sitcoms.
1. Daario Naharis – Game of Thrones
When we first encounter him in the third season, Daario Naharis is played by Ed Skrein.
Skrein was replaced by Michiel Huisman in season 4.
During the filming of the fourth season, he got a chance to play a lead role in The Transporter and he was replaced by Michiel Huisman who was given creative freedom to re-build the character according to his own acting sensibilities.
Source:International Business Times
2. Aunt Vivian – The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
For three seasons Janet Hubert had really been making Aunt Vivian’s character her own.
Although Hubert seemed irreplaceable, she left after some contractual disputes to be replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid, who very soon won over the audience.
3. Meg Griffin – Family Guy
Lacy Chabert voiced Meg, before leaving to work on Party of Five.
She was replaced by Mila Kunis and no one minded. First, because it’s easier to replace a voice actor, and second… because it’s Mila Kunis.
She admitted “Shut up, Meg!” is the thing people most frequently shout out to her on the street.
4. Laurie Forman – That ’70s Show
In That ’70s Show Eric’s sister Laurie was a recurring character played by Lisa Robin Kelly, who left for college and would only sporadically re-appear.
Source: Twitter | @Laurie70sShow
In the sixth season, Christina Moore replaced Lisa Robin Kelly. Soon after, rumors surfaced about Kelly’s struggle with addiction and she tragically died back in 2013 aged 43.
Source:That ’70s Wiki
5. Becky – Roseanne
Becky was played by Alicia Goranson and in this case, it was she, and not the character that was off to college.
In order for her to concentrate on her studying, the producers brought in Sarah Chalke to play Becky. What really confused and annoyed the audiences was that Goranson would sometimes re-appear in her old role. Bizzarre.
Source: Celebrities Pictures
6. Ann Veal – Arrested Development
Alessandra Torresani played George Michael’s incredibly thick girlfriend Ann for just one episode.
She was replaced with Mae Whitman with the strange but original idea to bring in a new actress for each episode. Eventually, they decided to stick with Whitman.
7. Lily – Modern Family
Lily, Cameron and Mitchell’s baby was portrayed by twins Ella and Jaden Hiller.
Source: Pinterest | Lauren Kramer
As the Hiller twins grew older, though, they started to feel the strain of their acting obligations.
Eventually, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons was cast and she truly made the role her own.
Source: Black Book
8. Carol – Friends
Ross’ ex-wife-turned lesbian Carol was originally played by Anita Barone.
Source:Female Celebrities In Jeans
She was soon replaced by Jane Sibbett who continued in the role throughout the series.
Source: Huffington Post
9. Jesus – The Fosters
Jake T. Austin was another seemingly irreplaceable face while playing Jesus in The Fosters.
Source: YouTube | Shine On Media
It didn’t work out, though, and Austin left because of creative differences. He was replaced by Noah Centineo whose work was later praised both by colleagues and fans.
Source: Geek Saw
10. Kaitlyn Cooper – The O.C.
Shailene Woodley started out as Kaitlyn, Marissa’s younger sister who left for boarding school.
Instead of Shailene, it was Willa Holland who came back to Orange County.
Shailene has since praised the decision; she herself believes she appeared too young for the role:
“So, there was no weirdness when Willa Holland got it because she was so obviously right for the role… and I was so obviously not.”