All good things must come to an end, even when it comes to TV. Throughout the years, many television stars have suddenly left their roles — some choosing to leave a famous part in the past.
In September 2020, Anna Faris announced her she was leaving CBS’ Mom after starring as the lead character on the show for seven seasons.
“The past seven years on Mom have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding of my career,” she said in a statement at the time. “I’m so thankful to Chuck [Lorre], the writers, and my amazing castmates for creating a truly wonderful work experience. While my journey as Christy has come to an end, allowing me to pursue new opportunities, I’ll be watching next season and rooting for my TV family.”
Faris never revealed the reason for her exit, and while her character was written off, the show suffered; after a few months in, Mom announced that season 8 — the first without Faris — would be its last.
Nina Dobrev also shocked fans in 2015, announcing that she would not be returning to The Vampire Diaries after season 6 came to an end. She later explained to Harper’s Bazaar that the plan all along was for her to leave after six seasons. “If anything, the fact that [leaving] terrified me drove me even more,” the Final Girls actress said in 2017. “I needed to feel that fear of, ‘Oh, my God, what if I never get a job again?’ That just made me want to work five times as hard to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Dobrev, like many actors who exit hit shows, ultimately did return, appearing in the CW drama’s series finale in March 2017. “I’m thrilled to bring this show to an end the way we always intended — with Nina back to help us say goodbye,” showrunner Julie Plec said at the time.
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Scroll through the gallery below for more shocking TV exits over the years.