Irreplaceable? Famous Roles or Characters Who Were Replaced

December 28, 2011  |  
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You probably heard that after all these years, Janet Hubert, aka, the original “Aunt Viv” from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, still has no love for her former co-star, Will Smith. “He is still an egomaniac and has not grown up. This constant reunion thing will never ever happen in my lifetime unless there is an apology, which he doesn’t know the word.” Hubert wasn’t the only one who was a bit salty about being replaced on the uber-famous show. I, like many fans, loved the original Aunt Viv and was very disappointed when Daphne Maxwell came through the door and took over. But replacements in Hollywood aren’t anything new. From our favorite music groups to popular TV characters, many people have been on your screen one day, and then gone the next. Time to figure out if their departures were welcomed, or big ‘ol downgrades.

Toni Childs

I know I couldn’t be the only one who appreciated the trife life and ratchetness that was Toni Childs on Girlfriends. From choosing between a loving, starving artist and a Chlamydia clad doctor to keeping up drama for her best friend Joan (Tracee Ellis Ross), Jill Marie Jones’ character  of Toni made Girlfriends all the more interesting. However, out of the blue, she disappeared around season seven (when her character allegedly moved to NYC to be closer to her ex-husband Todd) and was pretty much replaced with Monica, the once hated, now all of a sudden loved wife of their sole-male friend, William Dent. If you ask me, the show wasn’t the same without her…

Destiny’s Child

Beyoncé claims she wrote “Survivor” after people continuously made fun of the fact that the group dropped members like the popular reality TV series of the same name. First it was Beyoncé, Kelly, LeToya and LaTavia (remember when folks used to say LeToya was the prettiest?), and the ladies were just making a name for themselves and getting mainstream attention thanks to the album, The Writing’s on the Wall. But when drama started between the latter girls and Mathew Knowles, from out of nowhere came Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams to replace LeToya and LaTavia. Franklin later dipped out, and then there was three. While Michelle didn’t hurt or help the group (how can you really make an impact singing only the bridge?), in the end, it was always about Bey anyway, right?

Judy Winslow

It’s always weird when TV characters, especially those who play children of major characters, are replaced with no sort of explanation. No, s0-and-so went to boot camp or boarding school; instead, just a straight up disappearance. That’s how Judy Winslow (played by Jaimee Foxworth) disappeared after four seasons of being on Family Matters. Granted, she never had any major roles in the juicier story lines (especially when they made Steve Urkel the center of the show), but dropping homegirl over “budget considerations” and then adopting a new child in season eight was pretty sad. But even more sad to say…her absence really had no effect.

The Becky’s

Seriously, who didn’t like Roseanne? Everybody. black, white and/or green was watching that show and relating in some way–that is until they switched Becky’s. The character was a feisty and rebellious teenager played by Lecy Goranson for most of the seasons of the show. However, for seasons 6, 7 and 9, she was replaced with Sarah Chalke, the star of another awesome show, Scrubs. While Chalke was somewhat entertaining, like with most things, you can’t get much better than the original.

Denise Huxtable

Be honest: were you really feeling A Different World before Jasmine Guy became the main character? If you were a fan, then you probably were heartbroken by the fact that Bonet had to bow out of the show after getting pregnant with her first child (later to be known as Zoe Kravtiz!). While the cast was pretty diverse with Bonet, aka, Denise Huxtable at the reigns (Remember Marisa Tomei in the first season?), when she left, the cast became a whole lot blacker, and sorry, a whole lot more interesting. From dull but fashionable Denise Huxtable to saditty but hilarious Whitley Gilbert? Upgrade!

En Vogue

Although Destiny’s Child was an example of switching it up with success, some groups out there just aren’t the same when they do the big switcheroo. En Vogue was not only one of the biggest acts of the 1990s, but one of the biggest girl groups of all time. But when Dawn Richardson hit the road and went on to join the group Lucy Pearl, sales of En Vogue’s albums after the fact didn’t live up to the hype, and they were dropped from their record label, Elektra. Though the group tried to throw in a replacement, the reception wasn’t the same and the group looked like it was done. However, thanks to a performance alongside Alicia Keys at the BET Awards in ’08 that got them a lot of love and new fans, the girls decided to try their hand at being a group again. You can’t have En Vogue without Dawn! Anything else would be a downgrade…

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