Skip to main contentSkip to footer

7 actors who were fired from their TV show and why: Grey’s Anatomy, Castle and more

stana katic castle
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
1 February 2023
Share this:

Sometimes when things aren’t working out, there is nothing for it but to step away. And sometimes-  in cases such as these - there isn’t a choice in the matter. Learning that favourite characters have been fired from their roles is a rare occurrence, but has happened over the years. So which stars have been let go from their TV shows, and why? Find out here… 

Lori Loughlan - Fuller House

Lori was let go from the sitcom reboot after being involved in the college admissions scandal. At the time, she was vocally supported by her co-star Andrea Barber, who told US Weekly’s Watch with Us podcast: "She was a big part of Fuller House. She wasn’t in every episode, but her presence was definitely felt. We loved every single time she came on the set. So we have definitely felt her absence this season.

WATCH: The Varsity Blues scandal explained here 

"We wish it wasn’t that way, and we wish she could be here because it definitely feels like there’s a hole in our hearts and a hole on our set. But we understand that this is the decision that was made, and we respect it. But she’s always in our hearts forever. Every time we step on stage, she’s in our hearts." Lori spent two months in prison for fraud back in 2020.

lori laughlin© Photo: Getty Images

Lori starred in Fuller House

Gina Carano - The Mandalorian

Gina Carano was fired from her hit role as Cara Dune on The Mandalorian due to offensive tweets. At the time, a Lucasfilm spokesperson said: "Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future. Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable." 

gina the mando© Photo: Getty Images

Gina was let go from the show

Stana Katic - Castle

Stana was initially released from her contract ahead of the ninth season being renewed before the show was cancelled altogether - despite confirming that it was going ahead without the co-lead, who played Beckett on the show. 

MORE: Nathan Fillion: Inside The Rookie star's feud with Castle co-star Stana Katic

Stana told Entertainment Weekly: “I’m actually still not clear on the thought process behind the way that it went down. It hurt and it was a harsh ending, but now, nearly two years later…I met so many beautiful people on that project and we collaborated on something really unique in that it’s not every day that you get a show, or a series, that has eight seasons and that it was a hit for the network." 

stana katic castle blue suit© Photo: Rex

Stana opened up about the ending of the show

Robert Downey Jr - Ally McBeal

Robert was let go from the show after being arrested for being under the influence of drugs back in 2001. At the time, series producer David E. Kelley released a statement that read: "We are wrapping up the stories on the final few episodes of Ally McBeal for the season without him." 

MORE: The best of cinema in 2023: 13 top movies to look out for this year

The Iron Man actor has since been sober since 2003, and opened up about the decision to Oprah Winfrey back in 2014, explaining: "For me, I just happened to be in a situation the very last time and I said, ‘You know what? I don’t think I can continue doing this.’ And I reached out for help and I ran with it, you know?" 

robert downey jr© Photo: Getty Images

Robert was written out of the show during legal troubles

Noele Gordon - Crossroads

Noele was one of Britain’s most famous faces back in the 1960s as the star of the soap, Crossroads. The actress, who is set to be portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter in the upcoming ITVX series Nolly, was unceremoniously fired in 1981 by the network. But why? You’ll have to watch the ITV series to find out!

nolly crossroads© Photo: Getty Images

Noele's firing is the subject of the upcoming ITVX series Nolly

Isaiah Washington - Grey’s Anatomy 

Isaiah played Preston Burke on the hit show but was fired from the series after using a homophobic slur. Explaining what happened in Lynette Rice's book, How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey's Anatomy, writer Harry Workman explained: "[Isaiah] went after Patrick, pushed him up against the wall, and said, 'You can't talk to me the way you talk to that little [expletive] T.R [Knight].'"

MORE: Grey's Anatomy stars' chic homes: Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey and more

Crew member Marty Carrillo added: "Everyone knew T.R. was gay. .. You could see Isaiah's pupils go wide, like, 'What did I do?' It was quiet. Everyone had to leave the set."

ishiah washington© Photo: Getty Images

Isaiah was let go following the incident

Isaiah later denied ever calling T.R. a homophobic slur while at the Golden Globes - using the word a second time - by which point ABC released a statement apologising before letting him go from the show. Speaking about the firing in the book, Isaiah wrote: "I can apologize only so many times. I can accept only so much responsibility. I just hope people in the industry can understand that it’s a horrible misunderstanding, what transpired with our show, and it was blown out of proportion." 

Janet Hubert - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 

Janet was recast as Aunt Viv on the popular show but denies that she was fired. Speaking in the HBO special, she said: "During that third season when I got pregnant, there were a lot of things going on in my life, and in Will’s life as well… They offered me this really bad deal in the third season… So that meant my salary was cut… So I said, ‘No.’ I did not accept their offer. I was never fired, so the misconception was always put out there. I was trapped, what could I do? So they said, ‘Okay, we’re gonna recast your role.’ And I said…what could I say? I was hurt deeply. Deeply." 

MORE: Where are the Fresh Prince stars now?

aunt vivian© Photo: Getty Images

Janet opened up about leaving the show

Will Smith also spoke about the situation, saying: "During that time of her pregnancy, I wasn't sensitive, I wasn't perceptive, and you know, now that I've had three kids, I've learned some things that I did not know at the time, and I would do things very differently, but I can see where I made the set very difficult for Janet."

LISTEN: Today's best celebrity news in just 2 minutes

Like this story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter and get the heads-up on the shows and films everyone’s talking about.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.