The Top 10 Sitcom Characters Who Suddenly Changed Faces
TV shows being what they are, it’s almost inevitable that sometimes, actors have to leave their roles. But you can't just kill some characters. No, you’ve got to keep them around. So, just like everybody knows Darrin from Bewitched switched around, here are 10 TV shows where the actors were suddenly…a little different.
By Dan Seitz
10. Roseanne's Infamous Two Beckys
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Roseanne was an unusual sitcom in a lot of ways; it was about a working-class family, it confronted serious issues in a serious way, and really only asked us to suspend our disbelief when it came to the idea that John Goodman couldn’t do better than freakin’ Roseanne.
Then Alicia Goranson, who’d been playing Becky for a couple of years, decided she might actually want to do something with her life that didn’t involve shrieking fat people, and went to college. So they hired Sarah Chalke, better known as the hot blonde with the gender-confusing name on Scrubs…and the show went to town.
Any possible way they could beat this into the ground, they did it. References to Bewitched? Check. Characters noticing the actress was different? Check. When Chalke came back to finish off the series, they literally had the family freeze frame, Chalke walk in, and an announcer state that she’d be playing Becky for the rest of the series.
9. Chris From The Partridge Family Had an Anti-Stage Dad
Jeremy Gelbwaks has the kind of luck most child actors can only dream of. He was a player on The Partridge Family, a surprise hit about a bunch of saccharine pop singers.
Then he lost his role on TV because...his dad moved, taking the whole family with him and losing poor Jeremy his entire career; Gelbwaks hasn't worked since, at least not in material the IMDb lists.
And just to add insult to injury, a producer claims nobody even noticed the switch. No wonder he got a business degree.
8. The Brady Household Might as Well Have a Revolving Door
The Brady Bunch is, of course, a paragon of beloved TV that everybody grew up with, designed to have all the edge of a cue ball, but we've got to ask: what's with all the nostalgia programming that doesn't even feature the original actors?
Okay, Cindy we get, she was, what, eight, although sadly the porn star thing is just a rumor. But Jan Brady? Marcia? Isn't the entire idea of the last thirty years of cashing in on the manufactured nostalgia of this terrible TV show seeing the original actors back? What, was Eve Plumb busy? Did Maureen McCormack's country career really take up that much time? Apparently so, because each of their roles was played by no less than four separate actors in the numerous reunion specials.
7. Terence Steadman on Prison Break Gets his Face Changed
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Considering Prison Break stopped making sense right after it didn't end after the first season, we guess they could just pass off the man the hero's brother didn't actually kill as having plastic surgery or something.
But we've got to wonder if John Billingsley, the original Steadman, has a thing for gimmick shows or something, because he couldn't show up because he was part of The Nine, which is basically thirteen hours dedicated to one bank robbery. On the other hand, at least he didn't fall victim to the fate of Jeff Perry, his replacement: that poor guy went to the actor's hell us mere mortals know as...Grey's Anatomy.
6. Don't Cross The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Janet Hubert, who you know better as Aunt Vivian, had one problem on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air: The Fresh Prince himself.
The IMDB doesn't go into a whole lot of details, although we assume it's something along the lines of TV parents just not understanding Will. Hubert left and was replaced by the presumably more jiggy Daphne Maxwell Reid.