Saying goodbye is tough — staying away is even tougher. That’s the case for many stars in TV shows. Episodic TV, although it’s changing constantly in the midst of the streaming wars, isn’t a small commitment. Many dramas feature 24 hour-long episodes per series, which leaves little room for other projects.
That said, many actors who decide it’s time to hang up their hat on a role they’ve played for years, later come back. Sometimes, they don’t even wait very long.
At the end Chicago Fire‘s sixth season, Monica Raymund, who portrayed Gabby Dawson, announced she wouldn’t be back for season 7 and was ready to move on to new projects.
Fans had the opportunity to say goodbye to their showrunners. Derek HaasShe begged for her return. She appeared twice on the season 7 premiere.
“Last year, Monica let me know that she wasn’t going to come back. I was in denial,” Haas told Us at the time. “So she was like, ‘Derek, I love this character and have done this character for six years, but I have bigger, other ambitions.’ So, I was like, ‘OK, s—t.’ I wrote the ending of last season, and I will admit it was not the perfect … it wasn’t what I wanted to do in my head. We had a great plan for Puerto Rico. I just thought Casey would go and get her. Whatever. I saw her twice this summer. The first time, she was like, ‘Derek, I’m not doing it.’ Then the second time I was like, ‘Monica, please. I’m asking for one — literally one day, one episode. Can you come back?’ I think she took pity on me and came back and did it.”
Others put the character behind them but decide to return when the show is over. Steve CarrellFor example, he decided to leave. The Office — and continuously said he wouldn’t be back. However, when the show came to an end in 2013, he couldn’t help appearing for one last laugh.
Scroll down to see more TV stars who left their shows, only to return later.