From Roseanne’s opioid overdose to MASH’s shocking wartime discussion, television can use the departure of an actor to produce incredible results.

An actor might have to leave a television show for any reason, resulting in his character being removed from future episodes. Most of the time, there’s still a way for that character to come back, whether it’s for a full-time comeback or just an appearance on a special episode. But sometimes a character is written in such a way that any return is impossible, killing him. And this can create moments that stick with the audience long after the series ends.

5) Roseanne Conner, Roseanne

Roseanne

Comedy splash The Conners is in its third season, but the loss of its family matriarch is the reason it is not season 13 of Roseanne. The metamorphosis happened in May 2018 when series star Roseanne Barr parted ways with ABC after the controversy. Initially canceled entirely, the remaining cast worked with the network to transform the series into something that explored the remaining members of the Connor family and the challenges they face in today’s society. To emphasize her commitment to this new premise, it was revealed that Roseanne Conner died of an accidental opioid overdose at the premiere, opening up a discussion about the very real epidemic of addiction that is occurring in America.

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4) Rosalind Shays, LA Law

The unceremonious departure of Rosalind Shays, LA Law

This classic legal drama rarely shied away from the topics that scorched the 1980s, from the still taboo AIDS epidemic to LGBT rights. His cast of uncompromising lawyers were common elements of series creator Steven Bochco, who also created the equally harsh police drama. NYPD Blue. Rosalind Shays was the cold heart of five seasons of conflict within the company, a brutally competent and ambitious legal eagle. Audiences loved and hated her in equal measure, but when it came time to leave the show, the method marked a downhill slide for the series. Rosalind and her partner wait for an elevator, chatting about both legal and personal matters. As the doors open Rosalind casually gets into a waiting Looney Tunes gag. Unlike Wily E Coyote, he collapses down an open elevator shaft to his death.

3) Lucy Knight, ER

Lucy Knight in the ER

The rotating cast of characters from the popular medical drama meant there was always someone the audience could support. However, not all the characters worked. Mid-series med student Lucy didn’t draw audiences much, and her actress, Kellie Martin, was having a hard time behind the scenes with their own medical problems. But the method of Lucy’s departure was gruesome and, worse still, it became a emotional crutch for the much more popular protagonist Noah Wyle. After Wyle’s Dr. Carter ignores Lucy’s multiple requests to undergo a psychological exam on a troubled patient, he walks into a quiet exam room. When that same patient attacks him, Carter’s fall reveals Lucy, gasping for life. Less remembered is how Lucy enters emergency surgery, only to have a blood clot finish the job.

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2) Pierce Hawthorne, Community

Drill in community with the Dungeons and Dragons book

CommunityThe comedy drew on the humor of his often abrasive interpersonal connections, but it comes as no surprise that the arrogant, near-sociopathic Chevy Chase millionaire Pierce Hawthorne has become where the rubber got its start. Chase history of being difficult it’s a fact, but tensions on set it meant that it departed in the middle of its fourth season. Written abruptly, Hawthorne initially simply graduated from college. The early fifth season episode, “Cooperative Polygraphy,” follows the earlier revelation that Hawthorne died. The executor of Hawthorne’s will reveals drunkenly that Hawthorne died from severe dehydration he incurred while “preparing” a multitude of sperm samples for the rest of the group.

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1) Colonel Henry Blake, M * A * S * H ​​*

MASH - McLean Stevenson

The third season of this classic wartime black comedy marked a watershed moment in television history. Unafraid to discuss the costs and horrors of war, the stakes increased with the departure of Colonel Blake. Played by McLean Stevenson, Blake would see the end of his time in the military and would return home to enjoy time with his family. Behind the scenes, Stevenson I was not comfortable with the ensemble nature of the show and asked to be released from his contract. Seeing an opportunity, the show used his departure to tell a chilling but realistic wartime story. Working hard in the operating room, Radar arrives with a message for the medical camp. Read aloud, it unexpectedly revealed that Blake’s plane was shot down over the water and there were no survivors.

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