When it comes to being a big Hollywood star, especially when you are a female, it seems like it would be a pretty good scene, The bigger the star you are, the more money you make and the better roles you get, and before long, you are a huge Hollywood star. That is unless you get pregnant, then you get fired — sometimes.
This has long been a very difficult thing for women in the business to deal with. Most female actors are between the ages of 18 and 40, which is prime time for women to have babies, and the thing is, most women do want to have children — it doesn't matter if they are huge stars or if they are working at the laundromat down the street, once that biological clock starts ticking, it is hard to turn it back around. So, of course, a lot of women who are huge stars end up getting pregnant while they are in the middle of some huge television or movie project. When you are a producer, this can mess things up pretty quickly — you are on a shooting schedule and it isn't like you can just explain away why your main character, who is supposed to be a cheerleader in college, all of a sudden has a huge baby bump. So the actress gets canned and replaced and the producer looks like a total jerk — such is life. Here are 15 actresses that got fired because they were preggers.
14 Lisa Bonet – The Cosby Show
If you look up "hypocrite" in the dictionary, there is a photo of Bill Cosby next to it. Lisa Bonet was one of the stars on The Cosby Show and was starting to become a huge star. So much so that she appeared in the movie Angel Heart in which she had a steamy scene in where she appeared partially nude.
This really upset Cosby, so he shipped her off to star in the spin-off A Different World. He then got even angrier when she decided to have a baby with Lenny Kravitz, so he wrote her out of the show completely.
In case you're keeping score at home, all of this happened while Cosby was allegedly doing all sorts of horrible things.
13 Annette Bening – Batman Returns
While at this point one might think of Annette Bening as someone who would play more of a mom role than a foxy lady one, but back in the day, she was one of the hottest women around. She was supposed to play Catwoman in Batman Returns until she got preggers. Director Tim Burton said,
“We were really close to shooting, maybe a couple of weeks before. I got a call one morning and there was a long pause on the phone and [Bening] said she was pregnant. I’ve never had such a split, mixed feelings —
I was extremely happy for her, but dropping down a dark abyss at the same time.” Come on Tim — dramatic much? In the end, though, Michelle Pfeiffer killed it as Catwoman is still considered to be one of the hottest movie characters of all time.
Robin Wright is one of the most successful actresses in the world, but she still doesn't regret blowing off roles in Robinhood: Prince of Thieves and Batman Forever to focus on her kids with Sean Penn, who was her husband at the time.
“I don’t look back and think, ‘I missed putting my kids to bed for four straight years because I was in the theatre.’”
You go, girl! I am sure in their later years all of her kids will appreciate her taking the time to be a good mother, way more than they would have to see her in an awful Batman movie with Val Kilmer. How was it possible that Val Kilmer was such a huge star back then anyway? The whole thing makes no sense.
12 Jodie Foster — Double Jeopardy
Jodi Foster was set to star in the action move Double Jeopardy, but then became pregnant with her first son and didn't end up doing the movie since they thought that she might not be able to keep up with the physical stunts required for the role. Ashley Judd wound up taking on the role instead. There are a lot of situations like this where it seems like the actress quit because she was pregnant, but she almost certainly would have been fired anyway. It's hard to think of a pregnant woman starring in an action movie, and the role she was going to play was not a pregnant woman anyway. So many of these situations should be filed under "You can't fire me because I quit," but we know what really went down.
11 Catherine Zeta-Jones — Beyond Borders
Catherine Zeta-Jones is one of the most beautiful and successful actresses of our generation, but even she has lost roles before because she was preggers. She was going to star in the movie Beyond Borders with Kevin Costner, but when she found out she was having a baby with Michael Douglas, she was quickly dropped from the project.
Costner quit shortly afterward and the movie almost didn't get made,
although it eventually was released, starring Angelina Jolie, who has had a few issues with children herself. I think the moral of the story is, don't ever have a baby with Michael Douglas or adopt them with Brad Pitt. At least I think that's the moral of the story.
10 Dana Plato — Different Strokes
This one is a sad one. Dana Plato was one of the stars of Different Strokes, but when she got pregnant, she was written off the show.
This was the beginning of a series of problems for her, to say the least.
She ended up losing custody to the father because Plato suffered from addiction and kept getting arrested for numerous crimes, mostly involving theft. She finally died of an overdose that was considered suicide. The show was incredibly popular, but it also seemed cursed. Her costar Todd Bridges also suffered from addiction and legal problems, and Gary Coleman, who has now passed away, was also arrested a few times and went through bankruptcy.
9 Hilary Duff — The Story Of Bonnie and Clyde
Former Disney star Hilary Duff was set to star in the movie The Story of Bonnie and Clyde when she became pregnant with her son Luca.
She wanted to wait until after her pregnancy and still film, but the director said it wasn't possible and she was fired, although she still collected $100,000.
The movie still hasn't been made, so it seems that they probably could have waited after all. This is a good example of what we're talking about. Hilary Duff would have been perfect for the movie, and rather than come to an agreement with her, the producers were stubborn and never ended up making the movie. That's karma for you.
8 Nicole Kidman — The Reader
Kate Winslet won an Oscar for her role in The Reader but it was originally going to be Nicole Kidman that was supposed to star in the movie. Nicole was 46 at the time, and this was to be her first biological child. The role didn't happen because she felt her method acting would have a negative influence on the fetus. That is kind of crazy. So basically she felt that because she was going to be so immersed in the character she was supposed to play — which was a Nazi who had a relationship with a teenage boy — the unborn baby would get all confused and not know who its mom really was. We supposed the producers could have waited until Kidman was ready, but money waits for no one. Can you imagine being the producer of that movie finding out you had to get a new actress because of all that mumbo-jumbo? At least it all worked out in the end for Kate Winslet.
7 Isla Fisher — Now You See Me 2
Isla Fisher was the star of Now You See Me, which surprisingly was a big hit. She played the female member of a gang of bank-robbing magicians. Isla almost drowned during the making of the film when a stunt went wrong, but still signed up to do the sequel, called Now You See Me 2 (I see what they did there).
But when she learned that she was pregnant with her third child with actor Sacha Baron Cohen, she was replaced in the movie by Lizzy Caplan.
You know that Isla was probably really happy to welcome another child into the world, but still, getting dumped for a role because you are having a baby is a drag. There is another sequel coming up, but no word as to whether Isla gets her role back.
6 Melanie Griffith — As Good As It Gets
Back in the day, Melanie Griffith was one of the hottest female movie stars around, it seemed like every producer wanted her in their movies. It also seems that all sorts of guys wanted her too. She was supposed to be in As Good as it Gets but bailed because she was pregnant with her daughter back when she was with Antonio Banderas. This wasn't the first time this happened either. A few years before, she was pregnant with Don Johnson's child and had backed out from starring in The Sheltering Sky. Now that she is older, the odds of her missing out on a role because of pregnancy are pretty slim, but on the other hand, no one seems to want her to star in their movies anymore for the same reason.
5 Janet Hubert Whitten — The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air
Janet was the original Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It is hard to tell for sure what the real reason was for Janet getting fired from this show — none of her costars liked her, some said she was crazy, and even Will Smith said she was jealous. He once said that she said about him,
"I’ve been in the business for 10 years and this snotty-nosed punk comes along and gets a show.”
No matter what the situation was, it seemed everyone wanted her gone. Once she got pregnant and took off for a while, the producers replaced her on the set with another actress. They needed a reason to get rid of her for good.
4 Jamie Lynn Spears — Zoey 101
Jamie is the younger sister of megastar Britney and was the star of Zoey 101 on Nickelodeon. That is, she was the star until it turned out she was pregnant when she was 16 years old, so producers canceled the show.
“I knew I would have to make a decision as a young girl myself, to do something that I could sleep with at night… I was going to have my little girl, even if I had to raise her on my own, which is what I did."
It's something to be proud of for sure, to decide to raise your child instead of having money and fame, but it sounds like Jamie didn't regret making that choice, although I bet the producers regret hiring her in the first place.
3 Charisma Carpenter — Angel
Charisma Carpenter was the totally hot star of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff, Angel. When she got pregnant, it changed the whole vibe of the show, and producer Joss Whedon wrote in a lot of truly bizarre scenes for Angel that involved Charisma being pregnant. She said later,
"I think Joss was, honestly, mad… It’s a very complicated dynamic working for somebody for so many years, [but] you got to live your life. And sometimes living your life gets in the way of maybe the creator’s vision for the future.
And that becomes conflict, and that was my experience.” She wants to have a family, and her producer wants her to keep that perfect body and stay young forever which is
2 Kari Wuhrer — General Hospital
General Hospital has pretty much made a habit of firing women because they get pregnant. On the one hand, I can see this, as a pregnancy can really mess up a shooting schedule, and soap operas are shooting pretty much all the time. On the other hand, it totally isn't cool. As producers, writers, and directors, they should make an effort to accommodate the pregnancy in the storyline. Rebecca Budig and Teresa Castillo both came out and said they were kicked off the show because they were pregnant, while Kari Wuhrer came right out and said that the producers told her they were killing off her character because she was pregnant. It's probably best not to get too attached to soap opera actors because they're always getting replaced.
1 Hunter Tylo — Melrose Place
Hunter Tylo was fired from Melrose Place because she got pregnant, but she actually did something about it — she sued and won $5 million.
The defendants said that because she looked different while pregnant, she would not be able to play a “vixen, seductress, and adulteress,” so she was in violation of her contract and it was okay to fire her.
The jury disagreed. It will be interesting to see as time goes on how this case affects other situations where women are fired for being pregnant. We've seen other shows that have either written the pregnancy in the storyline or found a way to cover it up, so it's definitely feasible.