It’s common in Hollywood for actors to be recast in roles. Usually, this happens before the shooting of a film or TV show even begins. Occasionally, fans get to witness the recast themselves. Sometimes a role will be recast between a movie and its sequel. Other times, the actor portraying a character can change between television episodes, seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Some of these recast roles are well-known, but others will leave you questioning how you never noticed that it was two different people.
Lily Needed To Grow Up Faster
Lily, the adopted daughter of Cam and Mitchell on Modern Family, was initially played by a set of twins, Ella and Jaden Hiller.
There were no issues with the twins’ acting, but the show’s producers wanted to create more storylines for Lily, so they sped up her growth by a few years and cast Aubrey Anderson-Emmons in season three.
The Two Becky’s Are Infamous In Recast History
The Becky-swap is one of the most famous recasts of a character. Lecy Goranson played the role of the Connor’s oldest child until she left the show for college.
The writers didn’t want to leave Becky out of the show, so they recast her with Sarah Chalke. When Roseanne was briefly rebooted in 2018, Goranson returned as Becky and Chalke returned as a brand new character.
Aunt Viv Changed Due To Some Drama
The choice to switch out which actress played Will’s tough-love Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air has a nasty history. The original actress, Janet Hubert, played the role for three years and was a fan favorite until she got in a feud with Will Smith.
Will essentially had her fired, and she ended up being replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid.
The actress coming up from one iconic ’90s movie was restricted by contract, so she had to be recast.
Chuck Was Recast, Then Written Out
Not only was Chuck, the older brother of Ritchie, played by two different actors, but he also disappeared off ofHappy Days entirely. In season one, Gavan O’Herlihy played Chuck, then Randolph Roberts replaced him for the second season.
Two episodes in, the show wrote out the character completely, and we never heard of Chuck again. The phenomenon has even named a TV trope called the “Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.”
Carol Was Switched Out For Someone More Likeable
Only hardcore Friends fans remember that Ross’ lesbian ex-wife and mother of his child Carol was played by two different actresses. Anita Barone portrayed the character when she was introduced in the second episode, but then Jane Sibbett took over the role for the rest of the series.
It was a smart switch because Sibbett brought a fun energy to the character.
Cher Changed Actresses When They Turned Clueless Into A TV Show
Alicia Silverstone will always be the Cher Holowitz we know and love from Clueless. The success of the ’90s film led to a TV show spinoff, but the producers couldn’t use Silverstone because of a film deal, and Rachel Blanchard replaced her.
Blanchard’s performance wasn’t terrible, but it couldn’t compare to the original.
Most people wouldn’t care about the recast coming up if the original actress wasn’t mega-famous.
Recasting Darrin Made Bewitched Tank In Ratings
The recast that started it all was when Bewitched producers replaced the role of Samantha’s husband Darrin after season one.
The executives replaced Dick York with Dick Sargent, but the chemistry with Elizabeth Montgomery wasn’t as good, and the show ended not long after the recast.
The First Laurie Left That ’70s Show Due To Addiction
Lisa Robin Kelly played Eric’s older sister Laurie for the first three seasons of That ’70s Show until she decided abruptly to leave the show due to her alcoholism.
Writers reintroduced the character in season six with actress Christina Moore. Even though Moore looked like Kelly, she didn’t have the same wit or comedic timing as Kelly brought to the role.
Mindy’s Original Actress Was Too Famous For Friends
Mindy was not a main character on the show so this recast would have gone unnoticed if the original actress wasn’t super-famous. Jennifer Grey from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off originally portrayed Mindy, Rachel’s wealthy best friend.
She stayed as the character until Jana Marie Hupp randomly replaced her in season two.
Keep reading to see what actress change sparked racial controversy.
Vampire Victoria Got A Recast Between Twilight Films
Rachelle Lefevre played the evil, emotionless vampire in the first film in the Twilight series. The character makes a return in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, but fans were shocked to see a different face.
Producers recast Lefevre with Bryce Dallas Howard due to scheduling conflicts, but Lefevre denied it. Maybe there is more to the story than meets the eye.
Fans Can’t Decide Which Clarice Starling Is Their Favorite
Jodie Foster played the amazing Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs, but a decade later she refused to return for the sequel, Hannibal. Foster said that the sequel was too gruesome for her, and producers said she demanded too much money.
Whatever the reason was, Foster was recast by an equally impressive actress when Julianne Moore took over the role.
The Recast Of Lavender Brown In Harry Potter Made Racial Waves
In many of the early Harry Potter films, extras in the cast were assigned random student names. When the sixth film came around, the character Lavender Brown took on a more significant role as Ron’s girlfriend, and they cast Jessie Cave.
The issue was the earlier roles were played by black actresses Kathleen Cauley and Jennifer Smith. Many people didn’t care about the recast but didn’t understand why the character had to become white.
The film series coming up didn’t recast two major characters once, but four different times.
Fan Outrage Caused The Batman Franchise To Recast Rachel Dawes
Katie Holmes played Bruce Wayne’s love interest Rachel Dawes in Batman Begins, the first film of the most recent trilogy. Fans made it clear to the studio that they hated Holmes in the role, so they recast the character with Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Dark Knight.
Hopefully, fans didn’t get too attached to either actress since Rachel gets killed off at the end of the film.
Harriet Had To Be Recast For The Final Eight Episodes
The reason behind JoMarie Payton’s departure from Family Matters is unknown, but since she left suddenly half-way through the final season, many believe there was some on-set drama.
The writers couldn’t exactly leave out the matriarch of the show, so they frantically cast Judyann Elder for the final eight episodes.
National Lampoon Has Four Different Sets Of Kids
Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall played the original Griswold children in National Lampoon’s Vacation in 1981. The movie was a hit that spawned three sequels, with three different sets of kids.
Dana Hill and Jason Lively made an appearance in 1985, Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki took on the roles in 1989, and finally, Marisol Nichols and Ethan Embree closed out the characters in 1997.
Maggie’s Recast Was Awkward For Devoted Fans Of Diff’rent Strokes
Dixie Carter played Drummond’s girlfriend, Maggie, for all six seasons of Diff’rent Stroke’s original run. When NBC decided to drop the show, ABC picked it up, but Carter didn’t want to return.
They made due by recasting her with Mary Ann Mobley, but things got weird when fans realize Mobley played a different girlfriend of Drummond’s in an episode of season two.
The Gringotts Goblin Griphook Originally Had A Famous Face
Believe it or not, Verne Troyer AKA Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movie originally played the goblin that lets Harry into his vault in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Even though Troyer acted the role, his voice was dubbed over by Warwick Davis, who would end up taking over the part for the final films when Griphook becomes a significant character.
Boy Meets World Sped Up Morgan’s Age
Lily Nicksay was the original actress to play Cory’s younger sister Morgan on the family sitcom. She was witty and had great comedic timing for a child, but producers wanted to age the character and recast her with Lindsay Ridgeway in season three.
The new Morgan wasn’t as endearing to fans and wasn’t even asked to return to the spin-off show Girl Meets World.
Marcia Was The Most Obvious Recast From The Brady Bunch
Many of the original actors and actresses from The Brady Bunch were recast over the years because there were so many specials and sequels from the original run. Most of them went over without a snag until production replaced Maureen McCormick with Leah Ayres in The Bradys.
Marcia is one of the most memorable characters, and Ayres just looked nothing like McCormick.
Chris Was Recast On The Partridge Family Due To ‘Personality Conflicts’
Chris was the youngest of the Partridge’s and initially played by the nine-year-old actor Jeremy Gelbwaks. According to the cast, Gelbwaks was challenging to work with and had some serious personality conflicts with the rest of the cast and crew.
It’s hard to imagine how a nine-year-old could be that terrible, but due to it, he was recast in the second season by Brian Forster.