#10 JoMarie Payton
JoMarie Payton’s character Harriet Winslow was such a popular supporting actress on the TV show Perfect Strangers that producers created a show just for her. It was called Family Matters. After the show aired twelve episodes, a character named Steve Urkel moved next door to the family. ABC liked him so much it informed the cast that every episode would be about Urkel. Payton stayed for 8 seasons but bailed in the middle of the show’s last season because the purpose of the show had changed dramatically.
#9 William Hartnell
William Hartnell’s declining health led to the creation of Doctor Who. As the original doctor, Hartnell helped the show gain popularity. When a heart condition forced him to slow down, he ended up suggesting that they cast another actor to take over his role – explaining to viewers that the Doctor regenerated. That became the entire premise for Doctor Who.
#8 Paz De La Huerta
Boardwalk Empire’s Paz De La Huerta was fired from the show because her tampon string was showing during a nude scene, according to the show’s insiders. When producers told her to do something about the string, she ripped it out and threw the tampon on the floor. After Paz ordered an assistant to pick it up, the show had seen enough. They fired her.
#7 Michelle Hurst
One of the characters who really stood out during the first season of Orange is the New Black was a killer named Miss Claudette. The role was played by Michelle Hurst. Although she was expected to return for season two, a serious car accident on Christmas 2013 left her in a medically-induced coma for 16 days. She also underwent several spinal surgeries.
#6 Dominic Monaghan
Lost’s Dominic Monaghan thought he hit the jackpot when he got his role on Lost, moved to Hawaii, and fell in love with co-star Evangeline Lily. However, once their relationship went south, Monaghan couldn’t handle working with her every day, so he asked the producers to write him off the show.
#5 David Yost
Known as the Blue Power Ranger, David Yost wound up having to leave the show because his co-workers were bullies. He was harassed about his sexual orientation for years, so one day he walked off set and never returned. After two years of conversion therapy failed to turn him straight, Yost came out of the closet.
#4 Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe was supposed to be the biggest star on The West Wing. He was told his playboy speechwriter character would be “first among equals” in a talented cast. The show only expected Martin Sheen to do occasional cameos as President Bartlett. However, Sheen liked the role and became a permanent cast member, prompting Lowe to leave the show.
#3 Soleil Moon Frye
Punky Brewster was a very popular show that did not last as long as one would have expected. The reason? Soleil Moon Frye had a medical condition called gigantomastia, which causes girls to develop very heavy breasts. Frye’s breasts grew so large that by her 16th birthday, the producers did not believe she could credibly portray a child.
#2 Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong was already known as one of the world’s most popular stoners when he joined the Big Bang Theory on CBS. But Chong was arrested for selling bongs (seriously) and had to serve a nine-month prison stint. After his release, he returned to the show.
#1 Janet Hubert
Janet Hubert played Aunt Viv on Will Smith’s show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. However, she was fired after violating a contractual clause that prohibited her from being pregnant. (Hello, pregnancy discrimination lawsuit!) Hubert also famously clashed with Smith, who she continues to rag publicly to this day. The character of Aunt Viv was then portrayed by Daphne Maxwell Reid.