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21 TV Characters That Could Have Been Completely Different

Some of your favorite TV characters could have been played by completely different actors. Prepare to have your mind blown.

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1. Betty White as Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls


Betty was originally cast to play Blanche. Instead she chose to switch for the role of Rose, she was afraid of being typecast as another man-hungry character (she had played that role as Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show).

2. Rue McClanahan as Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls


Rue was originally cast as Rose! Betty White suggested they switch roles as both were being typecast. Rue had played the naive neighbor on Maude.

6. Janeane Garofalo as Monica Geller on Friends


Janeane reportedly passed on the role of Monica (a role the writers had written with her in mind) and instead joined SNL for the ’94-‘95 season.

7. Courteney Cox as Rachel Green on Friends


Courteney was originally asked to play the role of Rachel, but she asked for role of Monica Geller instead. The writers ended up rewriting the Monica character to better suit Courteney.

8. Louie Anderson as Cousin Larry on Perfect Strangers


Louie actually had the role of Larry and even filmed the pilot, but producers felt he was wrong for the role. He was dropped from the show and the pilot was re-filmed.

9. Whitney Houston as Sondra Huxtable on The Cosby Show


At the beginning of her career she was offered the role of Sondra. Afraid to commit to a weekly series she wisely chose to continue her music career.

10. Rosie O’Donnell as Elaine Benes on Seinfeld

Rosie was an old friend of Larry David from the New York stand-up scene and he brought her in to audition.

This casting choice would have really changed how we all relate to Elaine.

13. Fred Dryer as Sam Malone on Cheers


Originally Sam Malone was a former football player, so it made sense to cast Fred, who was a former NFL player. The role went to Ted Danson and Sam's background was re-written as a former baseball player.

15. Lisa Kudrow as Roz Doyle on Fraiser


Lisa was originally cast as Roz on Fraiser and even appears in the pilot. Peri Gilpin was recast in the role and Lisa got Friends as consolation prize.

16. Dana Delany as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City


Hard to believe that anyone other the Sarah Jessica Parker could have walked in Carrie Bradshaw’s Manolo Blahniks. But, Sex and the City creator Darren Star first offered the part to Dana Delany.

18. Paul Giamatti as Michael Scott on The Office


NBC executives really wanted Paul for the role of Michael Scott, he passed and the network eventually offered the role to Steve Carell.

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