Infamous Actors Whose PROBLEMATIC On-Set Behavior Led to the Demise of Their Characters

By Krystal Brown

For some infamous actors, their on-set antics have been so egregious that they have sealed the fate of their characters and even their careers. From diva demands to physical altercations, these actors have crossed the line, leaving directors, producers, and castmates alike with no choice but to write them off the show.

Grey’s Anatomy

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Patrick Dempsey’s departure from Grey’s Anatomy allegedly involved tensions between him and show creator Shonda Rhimes. According to the book “How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy” by Lynette Rice, there were HR issues and cast members had difficulties working with Dempsey.


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Chevy Chase, who played Pierce Hawthorne, had a strained relationship with showrunner Dan Harmon. Chase’s use of a racial slur during an on-set rant and his clash with Harmon led to his exit from the show.

Desperate Housewives

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Nicollette Sheridan, who played Edie Britt, alleged that she was fired in retaliation after reporting show creator Marc Cherry for hitting her. Cherry claimed that Edie was written off due to a lack of storylines for her character.


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Shannen Doherty, who portrayed Prue Halliwell, wanted to leave the show, leading to the character’s death. Initially, the show considered recasting the role but ultimately decided to write off the character.


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Valerie Harper’s character was killed off in a car accident following a salary dispute, and the show was renamed. Harper sued for wrongful termination and won.

Thomas Gibson

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Thomas Gibson, known for portraying Aaron Hotchner on Criminal Minds, faced termination following a violent outburst on set and his verbal abuse towards fellow cast and crew members. This incident marked the second instance of Gibson’s violent behavior, as he had previously attended anger management classes in 2010 after reportedly pushing assistant director Ian Woolf.

Taylor Momsen

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After reports of her volatile behavior, Taylor Momsen did not reprise her role as Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl. In a 2010 episode, Project Runway’s Tim Gunn made a guest appearance and openly criticized Momsen’s “diva” attitude during filming. Speaking to E! News, Gunn described her as “pathetic,” citing her inability to remember her lines despite having a limited number of them.

Grey’s Anatomy

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The actress earned a reputation as being “difficult to work with” following her derogatory remarks towards the writers of Grey’s Anatomy. Declining Emmy consideration for her role due to her dissatisfaction with the writing ultimately led to her departure as Shonda Rhimes decided to part ways with her.

Two and a Half Men

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Charlie Harper, played by Charlie Sheen, died offscreen after Sheen’s public rants against the show’s producers, and Ashton Kutcher joined the cast as a replacement.

Martin Riggs

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Martin Riggs’ character died after actor Clayne Crawford was fired due to incidents of poor behavior on set of Lethal Weapon and his strained relationship with co-lead Damon Wayans.


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After Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets, the show was canceled, but a spinoff called The Conners was created, with Roseanne’s character dying from an opioid overdose offscreen.

The OC

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Marissa Cooper, portrayed by Mischa Barton, was killed off due to a doubled workload and other factors that led Barton to feel unprotected and overwhelmed. She decided to let the character be written off the show.

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