10 Best Actor Replacements On TV Shows

These tricky actor replacements worked out better than anyone expected.

Parks and Recreation Chris Ben

TV shows are tough enough to make without having to deal with the colossal headache of replacing an actor mid-production, which at worst can threaten to derail a series entirely.

Replacing an actor for one of many reasons - their quitting, firing, or death - requires delicate consideration from those in charge, to ensure that whoever's drafted in to take over fits the bill and won't alienate the fanbase.

And so, inspired by this recent Reddit thread on the very subject, these 10 actor replacements just might be the finest that TV has ever seen.

Now to be clear, actor replacements aren't strictly limited to mere recastings - in some cases a departing actor was replaced with another performer who played a new, typically similar character intended to fill the void left in their wake.

Despite considerable skepticism in most of these instances, everything ultimately worked out for the best, with the replacement actor either matching or even exceeding the efforts of their predecessor.

And so, the next time you get ready to pitch a fit about an actor replacement in your favourite TV show, remember that it can work out for the best...

10. Jerry Stiller Replaced John Randolph - Seinfeld

Parks and Recreation Chris Ben

It's incredibly easy to forget that this replacement even happened.

In Seinfeld, George Costanza's (Jason Alexander) father Frank was introduced in the late season four episode "The Handicap Spot", where he was portrayed by veteran character actor John Randolph.

But when the decision was made to make Frank a regular character starting with season five, it was also decided that Randolph's more restrained acting style wasn't quite the right fit for the show.

And so, the part was recast with the great Jerry Stiller coming in to play a more larger-than-life, exaggerated version of Frank.

Randolph gives a totally solid performance in his single episode, yet it's also tough to picture him delivering the more outlandish Frank performed by Stiller from that point.

Despite Randolph's tenure lasting just one episode, two years later his scenes in said episode were re-shot with Stiller, to ensure consistency during syndicated TV airings.

Watching the two very different renditions of Frank side-by-side is quite the fascinating, surreal experience. As fine an actor as Randolph was, Stiller made the part his own in ways that Randolph never would've been able to.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.