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So...Who Are You Again?: Same Character, Different Actor


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#1

Mr. Shanks

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:36 AM

In the world of television there is the rare situation where an actor leaves, or gets fired, from a show for a certain reason and instead of simply writing the character off they end up finding a another actor/actress to play that character. Most of the time the change become a bad idea and very rare is it ever a good change.

Because when the actor is change, then usually the character changes too.

Examples....

Some people may not know this, but in the pilots for Roseanne and Family Matters there were two different people playing D.J. and Judy Winslow, and after that episode they brought in the two people we're familiar with now.

Then of course there's Laurie Foreman, Eric's mainpulative and slutty sister. When they brought in another actress to play her, she wasn't as slutty or manipulative as the character was before.

But I think everyone gets the point. What are some other situations were this has been bad, or good, for certain shows.

#2

Stanwyck

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:48 AM

Two words: Darrin Stevens

Bewitched should've packed it in when Dick York became to ill to work. Liz Montogmery just didn't have the chemistry with Dick Sergant that she had with York. Besides, Sergant played Darrin as too much of a baffoon.

Come to think of it, Bewitched tended to change actors alot. There were three Gladys Kravitzes and at least two Louise Tates.

#3

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 1:28 AM

Gaby vs. NuGaby on Ghostwriter. First was an annoying, but still sort of cute little sister. The second became a somewhat more stereotypical Latina girl. Hispanic accent, big ass hoop earrings, etc.

Are there any times when a second actor was better than the first? All I can think of was Sarah Michelle Gellar vs. Kristy Swanson (tv Buffy vs. movie Buffy). Character death aside, SMH had more acting chops and an excellent comedic timing. Since KS was on the big screen, though, I don't know if it counts.

I noticed in the Potluck forum that this thread had 1 reply (before me), but the page views was at 0. Odd.

#4

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 2:02 AM

Well, if we're talking about changes made after the Pilot, then, yeah, I'd say there are some examples of "good changes". Otherwise I can't think of many.

Early on in Seinfeld they replaced George's parents with actors who proved (IMO) better in their parts. Ditto with Jerry's dad. But, those were after only one or two appearances from the previous actors.

I'm not an avid soap watcher, but I remember a funny moment from my Mom's soap (One Life to Live) Blair had been played by an Asian actress, they replaced her with a blond haired white woman. When they had a big Wedding all of the grooms ex-wives had flashbacks to their relationships with the guy. "White-Blair" has a flashback to when she was "Asian-Blair" when the flashback is finished "White-Blair" looks confused and then checks herself in a mirror to see what she looks like.

#5

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 6:48 AM

ER did this a few times.
Mark Greene's daughter Rachel was recast when she came back in Season 8.
Benton's brother in law was originally played by Ving Rhames, but was recast in Season 7 or 8.

The husband of the mother of Benton's child, originally had only a few small scenes in S6 & 7 but when they wanted to do a big plot with him in S8 they recast him with Vondie Curtis Hall. And they even went back and reshot a scene from S7 with him for use in the 'Previously on ER' segements.

#6

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 7:25 AM

On The Partridge Family, Jeremy Gelbwaks played the nine year old drummer Chris on the first season. However, Jeremy's father got transferred from California to the East Coast, and he went with his family...never to be seen again.

Brian Forster played Chris for the remainder of the series. And after the show ran his course, he was never seen again also.

#7

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 10:54 AM

There were the two Becky's on Roseanne, Lecy Goranson and Sarah Chalke. Boy they switched those two up so many time, you never knew which one was going to be playing Becky from week to week!

#8

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 11:13 AM

Those ER changes never really bugged me so much, because the characters weren't so important, and they only replaced the actors a few seasons later. I couldn't remember who they had been before. That says something about the memorability of ER episodes, tho.

As for Seinfeld, I think it was only George's father who was replaced, and the first dad only appeared in one episode. I like Jerry Stiller a lot better. The DVD has both versions of "The Handicap Spot", with Jerry Stiller and that other guy. You can really see how they do the scenes differently: for example, when given the award for helping ppl in wheelchairs, the first dad is visibly pleased and smiling; Jerry Stiller, on the other hand, is all humble and even looks a bit annoyed with the attention. It was quite interesting to see that.

Newman was also meant to be a one-episode character, so he wasn't cast originally. Larry David did the voice of Newman in the "I'm on the roof!" scene. Later on, Wayne Knight was cast in the part and he read that line, so they added it in syndication to get the voice right. I like their attention to detail, in some shows they just couldn't care less.

#9

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 11:18 AM

Passions has to have had at least three different actresses playing the role of Kay, the conniving cousin of Charity, one of the resident witches. I haven't watched since the first or second season, but it struck me as rather funny that they had so many replacements so early in the series.

#10

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 11:47 AM

There's Marta on Arrested Development, admittedly a secondary character but a pivotal one for a few episodes. We never got a full explanation of the replacement (just the usual euphemisms), and both actresses were fine. Marta 1 had a special movie-star loveliness, but I doubt there would be any complaints about Marta 2 if we'd never seen the first one.

#11

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 11:50 AM

Passions had two different Gwens. Marcia Brady(I don't remember her real name), played Gwen's mother, then she got replaced. Two different actresses played Whitney's sister Simone.

#12

Ana Isabel

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:02 PM

Soaps are notorious for doing this. It's very rare that you get the same actor to play the character during the character's entire stay on the show.

One recast that I absolutely despised with a white hot passion was the recast of Dennis Parlato as Roger Thorpe on Guiding Light. WTF? Michael Zaslow, who created the character and played him for the better part of 30 years, was and is irreplacable. Even while he was sick, he still did a better job of playing Roger than Parlato did. There was an entire controversy surrounding the recast because Zaslow had been abruptly fired when he started getting sick (he was later diagnosed with ALS). Rather than write in Zaslow's illness, as he had requested, they fired him and hired a decent (as opposed to amazingly talented, incomparable, genius, etc.) actor to replace him. Furthermore, since the new guy was only decent and not one-of-daytime's-most-legendary-actors-of-all-time, the character was mangled and emasculated. Roger Thorpe was a powerful, diabolical, sexy, dastardly villian/anti-hero, but the new guy erased pretty much all of Roger's qualities and turned him into a concerned father (which Zaslow's Roger actually was, but there was so much more to him than his children). As for Roger's romantic relationships, all of the chemistry of the Roger and Holly relationship (which is widely regarded as one of the most complex, most enduring, and most gripping daytime couple of all-time) was sucked out because Parlato and Maureen Garrett had no spark. In the end, the audiences hated the recast and the character was written off the show, thereby disrupting the entire town dynamic and making way for clones, princesses, time travel, psychics and history-revising murder mysteries.

But to end on a positive note, some recasts that worked were both Wendy Moniz and Gina Tognoni as Dinah (the original was Paige Turco), Rob Bogue as Mallet, Rick Hearst as Alan-Michael, Maureen Garrett as Holly (in fact, no one even remembers the original anymore because Holly is so completely MG), Ron Raines as Alan, Marj Dusay as Alex, Joie Lenz as Michelle, Liz Keifer as Blake, Leonard Stabb as Hart, and Daniel Cosgrove as Bill.

#13

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:10 PM

Ana Isabel,

Kilamanjaro-sized word. TPTB at GL should be ashamed of their treatment of Michael Zaslow. The man was undeniably charismatic and no one, NO ONE should have ever attempted to replace him. And the eventual "resolution" they just recently tried to pass off (Sebastian and that whole crap storyline) reeked.

#14

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:10 PM

Sisters. The actress who played Charlie was changed from a redhead and slightly older looking woman (whose name I forget) to Charlotte from SATC. They meet in a sauna, and someone goes, "Oh, I almost didn't recognize you." Another sister says, "We've all changed." Well, you didn't all change hair color, body type and voice tho. That was disturbing.

The Bold and the Beautiful changed Thornes quite a few times. It was odd, because Clayton Norcross, the first actor who played him, looked nothing like Jeff Trachta, who came after him. (I can't believe I still remember those names.) And since Jeff could sing, they had Thorne and Macy do a world tour and be world famous singers - but when the new Thorne, whose name I have forgotten, came along, the singing was dropped completely.

#15

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:19 PM

Days of our lives:

Two Bos

Two Roman Brady's

Three Jack Deveroux's

Two Jennifer's

Two carri's Brady's

Two Austin Reed's

Two Billy Reed's

Two Will's

Two Abby's

Two Mickey Horton's

#16

BetyBee

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 12:43 PM

I seem to remember a funny scene when they changed moms on Fresh Prince.

#17

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 1:22 PM

Sisters. The actress who played Charlie was changed from a redhead and slightly older looking woman (whose name I forget) to Charlotte from SATC. They meet in a sauna, and someone goes, "Oh, I almost didn't recognize you." Another sister says, "We've all changed." Well, you didn't all change hair color, body type and voice tho. That was disturbing.


Sorry to be nitpicky, but Charlie #2 was played by Sheila Kelley, not Kristin Davis.

#18

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 1:36 PM

Some people may not know this, but in the pilots for Roseanne and Family Matters there were two different people playing D.J. and Judy Winslow, and after that episode they brought in the two people we're familiar with now.


I know Judy Winslow was replaced (before she became a vanishing character), but Candice Cameron did play D.J. in the pilot episode of Full House, at least the one that aired. There was an alternate pilot without Bob Saget as Danny Tanner though.

Speaking of Family Matters, it was also one of the most grating examples of this when it replaced Harriett Winslow in the final season. What the hell? Family Matters started off as a spin-off to Perfect Strangers, where Harriett Winslow was a minor character. So basically, this whole show and universe rested on her, and then they replaced her. They couldn't even bother to give a contrived "Urkel built a body-changing invention" explanation.

#19

ImStillWatching

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 2:25 PM

DJ from Roseanne, not DJ from Full House. I almost made the same misktake.

Speaking of Family Matters, it was also one of the most grating examples of this when it replaced Harriett Winslow in the final season. What the hell? Family Matters started off as a spin-off to Perfect Strangers, where Harriett Winslow was a minor character. So basically, this whole show and universe rested on her, and then they replaced her. They couldn't even bother to give a contrived "Urkel built a body-changing invention" explanation.


ITA. By that last season, it had been moved to CBS, and i bearely say those episodes til syndication, but i didnt like the replacement at all. Jo-Marie Payton (or Anne-Marie, can't recall) was an awesome Harriet, she WAS Harriet. The second chic, played the character too different and cartoonish for me, where as Harriet was always "real". I'm glad Payton is working on the Proud Family now, she makes that show awesome.

Edited by ImStillWatching, Sep 11, 2005 @ 2:30 PM.


#20

Hanna-Reetta

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 2:33 PM

trice77>> Really? Then that must have been the same woman who was on LA Law. Yes, that's right. They do look slightly similar (tho IMO Kristin Davis both looks and acts better); but it was so long ago that I somehow misplaced her.

I also thought the original actress to play Charlie was Annie Potts, but I recently caught one of those eps and she looked nothing like Annie Potts at all. I dunno why I've replaced these ppl with more recent actresses.

#21

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 5:06 PM

My mom is addicted to Days Of Our Lives, and I don't watch it much, but in the course of only a few months, I think I saw 3 different actresses playing Belle.

#22

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 5:26 PM

The actress playing Colleen on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman was changed from a blue-eyed (IIRC) blond-haired girl (Erika Flores) to a brown-eyed auburn-haired girl (Jessica Bowman). They looked *nothing* alike, they should have just written Colleen out of the show or something.

#23

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 6:07 PM

Two different actresses played Whitney's sister Simone.

Actually, it's been three actresses to play Simone. The first one was last seen as the only black girl in Jeepers Creepers 2. The second one was a pouty bitch who blamed everything on Whitney. The third one is the one who's there now. She looks like the second one, she just has a lighter skin color.

#24

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 7:23 PM

Days has had some AWESOME recast moments. There was Charity Rahmer, who was fired after her first day on the job. There was replacement Jennifer Stephanie Cameron, who was hired when Melissa Brennan quite suddenly, who had no acting experience, and who got the job because she was dating a producer. But my personal favorite was when they recast Jan - in the middle of the episode. I happened to be watching that day and literally couldn't wrap my head around it.

Another GL recast - I hated when they fired Rachel Miner as Michelle in order to age her into a teenager. Nothing against Rebecca Budig (I actually liker on AMC), but she never worked for me as Michelle and they never gave her a real personality beyond perky girl next door, and Rachel Miner had played Michelle for years. And then when they recast the part again they chose Joie Lenz, who is actually younger than Rachel is anyway!

#25

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 8:16 PM

Days of our Lives... I think there's been five actors playing Jack, but the third (and current, Matthew Ashford) is the only Jack for me.

Charity Rahmer, I think she played Belle for two weeks, basically got hired, and as soon as her first episode aired, she was canned.

Kirsten Storms (or is that Kristen), who played Belle before C.R. and left for the very short-lived CBS drama, Clubhouse, is currently stinking up the screen on (TF)GH ([i]General Hospital[i] for those who don't watch soaps, aka All Sonny's Children) was brought in as Maxie, so Robyn Richards, who grew up onscreen as Maxie for ten or so years, was fired so the show can have Maxiebelle. The last time Robyn was let go, it was also a real disaster.

#26

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 9:11 PM

OLTL'S Kevin Buchanan has had so many actors playing him (and not even accounting for aging the character from child to adult) that the role is considered one of the most jinxed on daytime.

#27

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 9:56 PM

What the hell? Family Matters started off as a spin-off to Perfect Strangers, where Harriett Winslow was a minor character. So basically, this whole show and universe rested on her, and then they replaced her.

The only saving grace about that? Jo Marie Payton QUIT the show when they moved to CBS because TPTB were turning it into the Urkel show and felt that the series was being driven in a direction she wanted no part of. Rock on, "Sugar Mama"!

Seriously though, all I can think about now is Dynasty and the two Fallons (Pamela Sue Martin and Emma Samms), the two Amandas (Catherine Oxenberg and Karen Cellini) and don't even get me started on the two different Stevens (Al Corley and Jack Coleman)... hmmm, let's disfigure him in an oil rig explosion that requires extensive facial surgery - and the explosion just knocked the gay right out of him!

#28

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 10:14 PM

Donna Reed taking over for Barbara Bel Geddes on Dallas was for me the big shark jump moment, though Bobby in the shower certainly didn't help. I loved when they pretty much admitted they screwed up and got Bel Geddes back; you don't see networks making that kind of confession often.

#29

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Posted Sep 11, 2005 @ 10:29 PM

Donna Reed taking over for Barbara Bel Geddes on Dallas was for me the big shark jump moment, though Bobby in the shower certainly didn't help. I loved when they pretty much admitted they screwed up and got Bel Geddes back; you don't see networks making that kind of confession often.



I thought they had to replace Barbara Bel Geddes because the actress got sick (heart trouble, I think). Anyone know for sure?

#30

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Posted Sep 12, 2005 @ 1:10 AM

Speaking of Sisters, the character of Reed started out as a redheaded girl, turned into Ashley Judd and then changed again.

That's the only one I can think of off the top of my head.