All good things must come to an end, right? – even on TV and on the big screen. It’s never easy saying goodbye to a beloved character we love so much. It’s like waving goodbye to an old friend, someone that meant so much to you.
Over the years, we’ve all been rocked by some pretty dramatic and shocking character exits. Whether it’s an iconic, long-running TV show, or a Hollywood blockbuster movie, these kinds of exits happen for a variety of reasons. From tragic deaths to abrupt actor exists that we never saw coming, we’ve rounded up 11 of the most unforgettable character exits – and also the truth behind these unexpected departures.
Ruby Rose broke onto the scene after starring in the beloved Netflix series Orange Is the New Black. She wasn’t a main cast member but she had a supporting role that gained her a lot of visibility!
However, it seems that Rose is not accustomed to the long hours that come from a starring role. As in 2020, after just a mere one season, Rose announced she would be leaving Batwoman, where she played the titular character. She felt the show was simply too demanding, and gracefully asked producers to let her leave the show. The studio agreed, and eventually recast Javicia Leslie in the part.
Sigourney Weaver’s departure from the Alien franchise left fans worldwide heartbroken. However, it might not be permanent, as she’s hinted at a potential return a few years ago.
However, she did leave the franchise for a little while to pursue other projects. For the first Alien film, Fox paid her only $35,000 for what would quickly become a franchise-defining performance!
America’s sweetheart Connie Britton left iconic musical show Nashville due to “creative differences.” The show was moved from ABC, a major network, to CMT, and that was a major factor in her decision.
Britton wanted to move on, and the creative differences with her character, the plot’s direction, and the station made her feel “torn” because she loved Nashville. The show was ultimately canceled after six seasons.
Let’s be real, Harrison Ford was one of the best things about the Star Wars franchise! But his reason for wanting out?
He was worried that his role as Han Solo would lead to him being “typecast.” He was concerned that he would only ever be offered “tough guy, action hero” roles.
Fans of The Office were left heartbroken and devastated when Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, left the show, leaving a huge void that led to declining ratings and the show’s cancelation after season nine.
Carrell left the show in season seven, and, at the time, it was thought that he left so he could focus on his film career.
The reasons for Nicollette Sheridan’s departure from ABC’s Desperate Housewives versus her reasons for departing Netflix show Dynasty are very different. When Sheridan was on Housewives, she left because writers decided to kill off her character. However, when she was cast for the role of Alexis Carrington, she actually never intended to leave.
That is until a family emergency struck, and she found that she had to leave as her mother was seriously ill at the time. Sheridan left in March of 2019, and a new actress was cast in her place to play the manipulative Alexis.
In 2015 tweens and teenagers worldwide were left heartbroken after Nina Dobrev announced on Instagram her departure from the hit show The Vampire Diaries.
She explained how she knew she wanted her character’s story to be a, “six season adventure.” Fortunately, the writers figured out a way to continue the show without its leading lady, and Nina later returned as a guest star in the series finale to wrap up a happy ending for the character.
Patrick Dempsey became famous for his role as the hunky doctor Derek on Grey’s Anatomy. But years later in 2019, he reportedly asked to leave because he wanted to focus on his family, as well as his auto-racing career.
Dempsey told People Magazine that he “probably should have moved on” a few seasons earlier. He said that there were no hard feelings between him and show creator Shonda Rhimes, and described his departure from Grey’s as merely the “end of a chapter” in his life.
Fans of the cult sitcom Community were left lost for words when Donald Glover’s character Troy Barnes, exited the show. However, he had a good reason to.
When he announced his departure from Community back in 2013, the show was apparently already crumbling behind-the-scenes, with show creator Dan Harmon and actor Chevy Chase being fired from the series. Reportedly, Donald was ready to try something new as he went on to produce his new hit FX comedy Atlanta comedy while also continuing to working on his music.
In many peoples’ eyes, Michael Keaton is their favorite Batman. His iconic portrayal of the dark superhero in Batman Returns gained him critical acclaim. But Keaton hung up the Bat cape after director Tim Burton was replaced for the third film, Batman Forever.
Director Joel Schumacher stepped in to continue the Batman franchise but out of loyalty to Burton’s original story, Keaton decided to give the part to another actor – and then Val Kilmer memorable stepped in to answer the Bat-signal!
Whether it was her blonde hair or red bathing suit, Pamela Anderson became a household name thanks to her role as CJ Parker on Baywatch, a role she held from season three until season seven.
Anderson left after four years to pursue other ventures in modeling and acting. However, there were no hard feelings, as Anderson happily reunited with her castmates years later for the reunion special, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding, which took place in 2003.