12 Actors Who Screwed Up Their Big TV Chances By Getting Fired

10. Valerie Harper - Valerie

Valerie Harper became famous in the 1970s for her role as Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She was eventually given her own spin-off, Rhoda. Harper decided to return to television in 1986 for the aptly named Valerie, playing Valerie Hogan, the matriarch of a family consisting of three boys and an airline pilot husband. As Valerie began to show some success, Harper became unhappy with her salary. During season one of Rhoda, Harper had staged a walk out on the set over her salary that eventually lead to a raise, so the duo decided to pull a similar stunt during a filming hiatus for the second season of Valerie, stating that, if their demands for a salary raise were not met, they would refuse to return for filming of the third season. What followed was a behind the scenes fight of epic proportions that angered NBC so much they threatened to fire Harper, who believed the threat to be a bluff because no one had ever been fired and replaced in a television show bearing their name. However, that is just what happened. Sandy Duncan was cast to replace Harper and the show was renamed Valerie's Family: The Hogans (eventually being renamed again to The Hogan Family at the beginning of the fourth season in part to keep Harper from suing for use of her name). In the season three premiere, Harper's character was unceremoniously written out with the explanation that she had died in a car accident off-screen.
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Christopher A. Rothbauer is a freelance writer who specializes in nostalgic television and B-movies. His current project is the blog Saved by the Bell...Reviewed!, which reviews every episode of the Saved by the Bell franchise one week at a time. He lives in the southern Indiana suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky.