11 Falls From the Acting Spotlight Into Obscurity


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Fame is a fickle thing. One day, someone hits the headlines and gets everyone talking about them and predicting an amazing acting career in the future, and then, just like that, no one remembers that person anymore. Sometimes, we can’t even remember their names or where we’ve seen them before.

Here are some actors that have kept us glued to our screens before disappearing into thin air.

1. Nina Dobrev Leaving The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Nina Dobrev rose to fame after being cast as Elena Gilbert in the American supernatural drama series The Vampire Diaries in 2007. However, the Canadian actress chose to move on from the show when her contract expired after the sixth season, citing that she wanted to pursue other areas of acting. A lot of fans believed that the show went downhill after she left. The actress has since been featured in other projects, but they’re not quite as popular as The Vampire Diaries. A user on the forum said, “I wasn’t as charmed with her The Vampire Diaries acting as others, but I really thought her career would go somewhere else.”

2. Shelley Long Leaving Cheers

Image Credit: Paramount Network Television.

It is no surprise that Cheers became a hit sitcom when it aired in the 80s. The show launched the careers of actors such as Woody Harrelson and Ted Danson, to name a few. It would be a surprise for any of the cast members to leave such a hit show. Shelley Long was already at the height of her career when she joined Cheers, but in 1986, she decided to leave Cheers to pursue a movie career and spend more time with her family, citing that the process of a weekly sitcom is extremely time-consuming. A participant in the online discussion said, “Shelley Long leaving behind Diane Chambers on Cheers when it was the biggest TV comedy in America springs to mind. Her film career didn’t take off either, sadly, but she had a couple of okay ones.”

3. David Caruso Leaving NYPD Blue

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

David Caruso is a beloved TV icon, adored by teens and adults alike for his portrayal of Detective John Kelly in the 1993 American police crime drama television series NYPD Blue. The show went on to have some departures, including David Caruso, who reportedly left because he was demanding a pay raise. Unfortunately, his career went downhill from there.

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4. Emmy Rossum Leaving Shameless

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

American actress Emmy Rossum rose to prominence during her stint as Fiona Gallagher in the comedy-drama series Shameless. Fans of the show have always maintained that the lovely character is one of the backbones of Shameless. Nevertheless, the actress made her final appearance as Fiona in the ninth season finale. Emmy’s departure from the show was due to scheduling conflicts, contractual issues, and her desire to take on other projects. A commenter on the forum said, “Did she leave to pursue her career or what? I can’t recall anything she’s done since”.

5. Jessica Brown Findlay Leaving Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
Image Credit: Carnival Films.

Jessica Brown Findlay became a face we are familiar with on the screens since starring as Lady Sybil in the British historical drama series Downton Abbey in 2010. Fans and critics fell in love with the compassionate character due to her sweet and friendly nature. The English actress left fans bewildered when she exited Downton Abbey unexpectedly after three seasons. Findlay had always intended to leave the show to seek a more diverse career. Her career never seemed to move on from there.

6. Josh Charles Leaving The Good Wife

The Good Wife
Image Credit: CBS Productions.

Josh Charles became a TV fan favorite playing Will Gardener in the American legal political drama The Good Wife. The actor left the show at its peak in 2014 and went on to pursue other career opportunities like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Wet Hot American Summer. The actor has been very supportive of the show since leaving. A user on the platform added, “Yep. My husband and I pretty much stopped watching after that part.”

7. Wayne Rogers Leaving MASH

MASH (1972)
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Wayne Rogers was good as Trapper John McIntyre in the American war comedy-drama television series MASH. The character was beloved by fans. Several actors departed the show at its peak for different reasons. Rogers left the show after just three seasons because of a contract dispute. One commenter on the forum further explained, “Wayne Rogers quit MASH after he felt his character wasn’t getting enough attention as Alan Alda’s. His career never really picked up after,”

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8. Mischa Barton Leaving The O.C.

The O.C
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Mischa Barton’s exit from The O.C. came as a huge shock to the fans and critics as they were thrown off balance. Even the actress cited that she wasn’t aware of how big of a deal her character’s departure was. “They made me feel like the show is going on with or without you, and it is what it is. So I was just like, ‘OK, cool then, let’s go out with a bang,'” she explained. A user on the platform said, “Mischa Barton, aka Marissa Cooper, was iconic. After she left, the show went downhill fast, and her career as well.”

9. Regé-Jean Page Leaving Bridgerton

Image Credit: CVD Productions.

The English-born actor has made appearances in shows such as Waterloo Road and For the People before having a breakout role in the first season of the 2020 Netflix period drama Bridgerton. In season one of Bridgerton, the audience fell in love with Simon Bassett, the slightly mysterious Duke who comes to town with no intention of finding a wife but ends up falling. Fans fumed when his exit from the hit show was announced. A commenter on the platform chimed in, “He’s been in a few things since leaving, but I thought Regé-Jean Page would be way bigger after Bridgerton.”

10. Dan Stevens Leaving Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey
Image Credit: Carnival Films.

Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley in the hit British historical drama series Downton Abbey. His humble and practical nature kept the audience focused on him. He was a good and kind man who often did what he did for the sake of others rather than himself. In an interview with The Telegraph, Stevens explained that status and money had little to do with his decision to exit the show. Instead, he was looking for freedom to take on a range of different and interesting roles. One commenter said, “The departure felt premature, and it didn’t seem like he got major traction after.”

11. Crystal Reed Leaving Teen Wolf

Teen Wolf
Image Credit: MGM Television.

The actress rose to fame playing Allison Argent in the American fantasy drama series Teen Wolf. However, the actress departed the show after three seasons, saying that the casting didn’t feel right as she was a bit older than the rest of the cast while playing a teenage schoolgirl. She also cited that she wanted to move on and pursue different projects.

Source: Reddit.

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