Blatantly Obvious TV Recasts They Thought They Could Get By Us
Frank Costanza, “Seinfeld” – Recast John Randolph for Jerry Stiller
A few of the “Seinfeld” parents were amongst the obviously recast TV characters, including John Randolph, the original Frank Costanza, who was replaced by the great Jerry Stiller. Check out more of our beloved deceased “Seinfeld” characters who have passed.
Laurie Forman, “That ’70s Show” – Recast Lisa Robin Kelly for Christina Moore
Eric Forman, played by Topher Grace, always had a hot, older sister, but she wasn’t always around. Lisa Robin Kelly’s role on “That ’70s Show” stopped around the third season when she completely disappeared before returning again a couple seasons later. The following sixth season, she was recast by Christina Moore. Kelly died at the age of 43 in 2013 after struggling with drug addiction.
Jenna DeCarlo, “30 Rock” – Recast Rachel Dratch for Jane Krakowski
The beloved “SNL” cast member Rachel Dratch started out in the role of Jenna across from other “SNL” stars, Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan, on NBC’s “30 Rock” during the pilot. That was before getting recast for Jane Krakowski, the beautiful, blonde bimbo we all grew to love, and we’re okay with this swap-out. It’s all good, as Dratch was brought in to star in another role on the show. Everybody wins, especially us.
Marta Estrella, “Arrested Development” – Recast Leonor Varela for Patricia Velasquez
The hit cancelled show switched out their Martas, the love interest of Jason Bateman’s character, Michael Bluth. Her role was tossed around between Leonor Varela and Patricia Velasquez in season one. The show also swapped out their Ann Veals, George Michael’s (Michael Cera) girlfriend throughout the early parts of “Arrested Development” before she went on to get left by Gob at the altar. The role of Ann was originally played by Alessandra Torresani in season one, then played by Mae Whitman for the remaining seasons.
Aunt Vivian, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” – Recast Janet Hubert-Whitten for Daphne Reid
It seems incredibly racist to find a lighter skinned black woman to replace another black woman, but this is show business, people! After having one aunt, Will Smith was surprisingly granted a very different aunt halfway through the series of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Maybe they didn’t think we’d notice. We noticed.
Harriet Winslow, “Family Matters” – Recast Jo Marie Payton-Noble for Judy Ann Elder
Urkel and the rest of “Family Matters” tried to pull on a quick one on us with the old late-in-the-game switcheroo of Mrs. Harriet Wilson. Played originally by Jo Marie Payton-Noble for the entirety of the series up until 1997, she left as Judy Ann Elder entered before the show quit in ’98. Must’ve been tough that she couldn’t go one more year. Maybe those “Key & Peele” sketches are true.
Daario Naharis, “Game of Thrones” – Recast Ed Skrein for Michael Huisman
Fans might’ve been thrown when Ed Skrein was replaced by a darker, handsomer Michael Huisman, but then again that show has so many characters it seems it’s hard to keep track.
The HBO fantasy series recast the role for season four, going from the long-haired look to the chiseled, bearded type. At least they got the skin tone right.
Becky, “Roseanne” – Recast Lecy Goranson for Sarah Chalke
People might wonder how you can stick with a character when the actress playing it is constantly ping-ponging back and forth. Originally played by Lecy Goranson, the role went to Sarah Chalke in its fifth season so she could attend college. Goranson returned in the eighth season before leaving again in the ninth, swapping back and forth the role with Chalke, then finally letting her finish out the storyline for Becky. Luckily, the show poked fun at this by breaking the fourth wall.
Kaitlin Cooper, “The O.C.” – Recast Shailene Woodley for Willa Holland
Without doing a time jump in the series, “The O.C.” creator, Josh Schwartz, decided to make small-time side character, Kaitlin Cooper, into the show’s new thing towards the finale to save the show after the departure of Mischa Barton. Come on. No girl grows up that quickly. It worked though, kind of.
Mandy Milkovich, “Shameless” – Recast Jane Levy for Emma Greenwell
Jane Levy was the hardcore chick in season one of “Shameless,” Ian and Lip’s little groupie, but she was then moved over to “Suburgatory,” which allowed Showtime to recast the role of Mandy with Emma Greenwell. This worked out for us, as we have enjoyed four years of Mandy’s topless moments. The joke’s on Levy, as “Suburgatory” only went for three years, but “Shameless” is still rolling.