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Old 03-02-2017, 09:08 AM   #1
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Default Re-castings / Replacements, and "Explanatory storylines"

In TV history there have been a good number of "re-castings" in which a character played by one actor, was then played by a different actor.

I think that the character of Marilyn in "The Munsters" was played by two different actresses.
The character of George Jefferson was played by two different actors in "All In The Family."
The character of Roger was played by two different actors in "The Mothers In Law."
Also, Philip in "Maude," was played by two different actors.

And very famously, the character of Chris Partridge was played by two different actors in "The Partridge Family." (Perhaps this is the most known or famous recasting in recent TV history? It just seems to be.)

However, anyone know of any others?
Don't even limit it to sitcoms or TV. Mention what you have heard of.
I know that in The Three Stooges, the third "Stooge" other than Moe and Larry, was interchanged between "Shemp" and "Curly Joe."


Also there have been "Explanatory story-lines" in TV episodes. (My wording).
By that I mean that there have been times in which an episode of a TV show had a plot that explained or somehow was formed around something that happened in real life to the actor who played the character.
Most famously was the "Bonanza" episode that explained that "Hoss" died because in reality, the actor who played him (Dan Blocker) died in real life.
This supposedly was the very first time a TV show did such a thing.

Then there was the well known episode of All In The Family, in which Archie Bunker is gone (for two episodes) because in real life Caroll O'Connor was having a dispute with the producers of the show and had to be persuaded into coming back to play Archie Bunker.

And there was a much lesser known episode of "Family Affair" in which the character "Buffy" broke her leg and this episode was written up because in real life Anissa Jones did break her leg.

Any other examples?
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:35 AM   #2
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The character of George Jefferson was played by two different actors in "All In The Family."....
Lionel Jefferson was played by two different actors on The Jefferson.

Are you thinking of George and Henry Jefferson? The show wanted Sherman Hemsley to play George, but he was in a Broadway show, so for a time George's brother "Henry" (played by Mel Smith), appeared as the neighbor. When Hemsley was available, he took over as George and Henry was written out.

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And very famously, the character of Chris Partridge was played by two different actors in "The Partridge Family." (Perhaps this is the most known or famous recasting in recent TV history? It just seems to be.)
Obviously, this is a matter of opinion, but I think the Dick York/Dick Sargent switch of Darin Stevens is the classic of this sort.

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However, anyone know of any others?
One that used humor was when Daphne Maxwell-Reid took over as Aunt Viv on Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The character Jazz told her she looked different since she had a baby, as Will Smith looked into the camera.

The best of these I know was on Mad About You, where one actor was replaced by another as the neighbor across the hall, and then the original actor was eventually brought back. In character, he explained to the Buchmans that he and his wife had gotten divorced, she had married a different man named Hal, then they divorced and the first two remarried.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:01 PM   #3
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As for explanatory story lines, in The Waltons part-way through season 5 Ellen Corby had a heart attack and her character was said to be "away" for the remainder of the season. When Will Geer died after season 6, his character in the show died as well.

On Sanford and Son Redd Foxx had a disagreement with some of the producers near the end of season 3 and his character left town. The recurring character Grady had his role expanded and became the main character for a few episodes to close out season 3.

In Green Acres Barbara Pepper was going through health issues and her character was said to be away visiting family for about a season and a half. She sadly died and the role had to be recast.

In Hazel I remember reading somewhere that Don DeFore broke his hand and in several episodes he wore a cast that was explained by his character also having broken his hand.

In The Three Stooges, like you said, the series originally began with Curly as the third stooge but after several strokes he retired in 1947 and Shemp was brought in, but he was intended to be a different character entirely. When Shemp unexpectedly died in 1955, Joe was brought in for the remaining years of the shorts.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PhoenixAcres
As for explanatory story lines, in The Waltons part-way through season 5 Ellen Corby had a heart attack and her character was said to be "away" for the remainder of the season. When Will Geer died after season 6, his character in the show died as well.
Ellen Corby suffered a stroke, which was written into a show.

Also on The Waltons, Richard Thomas had broken his leg while riding a motorcycle for the movie September 30, 1955 (1977), so they wrote it into The Waltons that he broke his leg during a motorcycle race.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:19 PM   #5
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Ellen Corby suffered a stroke, which was written into a show.
Now that I think about it you're right, it was a stroke. But I think it wasn't until a later episode that they actually referred to the stroke in-show.
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Old 03-02-2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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Now that I think about it you're right, it was a stroke. But I think it wasn't until a later episode that they actually referred to the stroke in-show.
Yep, that is true.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:26 AM   #7
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on "DALLAS" in-I think it was the fifth season-Barbara Bell Geddes left the show (I forget why) so Donna Reed was brought in to play Elli Ewing. When she died Bell Geddes decided to come back.
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Old 03-03-2017, 01:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixAcres
As for explanatory story lines, in The Waltons part-way through season 5 Ellen Corby had a heart attack and her character was said to be "away" for the remainder of the season. When Will Geer died after season 6, his character in the show died as well.

On Sanford and Son Redd Foxx had a disagreement with some of the producers near the end of season 3 and his character left town. The recurring character Grady had his role expanded and became the main character for a few episodes to close out season 3.

In Green Acres Barbara Pepper was going through health issues and her character was said to be away visiting family for about a season and a half. She sadly died and the role had to be recast.

In Hazel I remember reading somewhere that Don DeFore broke his hand and in several episodes he wore a cast that was explained by his character also having broken his hand.

In The Three Stooges, like you said, the series originally began with Curly as the third stooge but after several strokes he retired in 1947 and Shemp was brought in, but he was intended to be a different character entirely. When Shemp unexpectedly died in 1955, Joe was brought in for the remaining years of the shorts.
Whitman Mayo as Grady on S & S replaced Redd Foxx for more than a few episodes; I think it was for an entire season.

And even though The 3 Stooges wasn't a TV show (but they did make 2 TV pilots and appeared on TV), after Shemp died Joe De Rita replaced him then after he left Joe Besser replaced him.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by treky
Whitman Mayo as Grady on S & S replaced Redd Foxx for more than a few episodes; I think it was for an entire season.

And even though The 3 Stooges wasn't a TV show (but they did make 2 TV pilots and appeared on TV), after Shemp died Joe De Rita replaced him then after he left Joe Besser replaced him.
As I recall Grady only took the lead for the tail end of season 3, maybe 5 episodes. I know Fred came back in the first episode of season 4. Maybe you're thinking of the Grady spinoff show? I never watched it but it ran at some point during S&S's run.

On the Stooges it appears you have the Joes mixed up. After Shemp died, Joe Besser was hired (basically because he was already under contract with Columbia) to close out the (shorts) series and they filmed new shorts from 1956 to 1957. At this point Joe Besser retired from the act to care for his wife who had a medical condition. That same year the long-running Stooges Columbia shorts series came to an end. Starting in 1959, the team picked up "Curly Joe" DeRita and starred in feature length films and did tours, etc. until 1970 when the Stooges disbanded for good.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
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As I recall Grady only took the lead for the tail end of season 3, maybe 5 episodes. I know Fred came back in the first episode of season 4. Maybe you're thinking of the Grady spinoff show? I never watched it but it ran at some point during S&S's run.

On the Stooges it appears you have the Joes mixed up. After Shemp died, Joe Besser was hired (basically because he was already under contract with Columbia) to close out the (shorts) series and they filmed new shorts from 1956 to 1957. At this point Joe Besser retired from the act to care for his wife who had a medical condition. That same year the long-running Stooges Columbia shorts series came to an end. Starting in 1959, the team picked up "Curly Joe" DeRita and starred in feature length films and did tours, etc. until 1970 when the Stooges disbanded for good.
you're right, I did have the 2 Joes mixed up (I don't know how I did that as I'm a big stooges fan-but then I'm also 59 years old! )
However, I DO know that when Joe De Rita became the 3rd member (they called the two Joes "Curly-Joe" because of their physical resemblance to Curly) in 1958 they suddenly found themselves a whole new audience because that year Columbia started releasing their shorts to TV.

And I think "GRADY" aired during the 4thh or 5th season of "S & S".
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:26 AM   #11
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It's alright. I'm a big Stooges fan as well. I tried to get a Three Stooges forum created for this site so we'd have a place to discuss it but apparently there's not enough demand for it.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:36 AM   #12
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I also did as well as forums for a couple other shows ("THE FUGITIVE" & "THE JACK BENNY SHOW") but-well you can see the results.
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