Five stars who made a terrible mistake
Television has a long standing tradition of making its stars feel more popular than they really are. As somebody who used to be on TV, five nights a a week, I know what that feeling is like. Generally when that person leaves television, they go on to do movies or change professions and they often become even more popular. However, there is always that TV celebrity who overestimates how much people want to see them and when they leave their hit TV show, it ends up being the biggest mistake of their career.
Before Caruso became the star of the weakest part of the CSI franchise, he was the star of NYPD Blue. After playing numerous bit parts on TV and in film, he finally hit the big time. The critics and the public both agreed that he was a breath of fresh air in what had become a stale world of TV dramas. He was sexy and tough, just like his show and he fit in perfectly with his supporting characters. Then suddenly, Caruso decided he was too talented for the small screen and bailed on the show. His much talked-about departure allowed him to make unwatchable films like Jade and the remake of Kiss of Death that nobody asked for. Luckily, the ginger-haired tough guy was able to revive his career, but one can't help but wonder how different things would have been had he continued to be Detective John Kelly.
Most of you probably don't remember David Hartman but a quick Google search will reveal that he played a number of roles on TV and in movies. However, his career reached its peak when he was chosen as the host of a new AM news program called Good Morning America. With his affable style and natural charm he was the perfect choice to interview newsmakers and introduce the news. In fact, at one point, David Hartman was the highest-paid man on television. It would seem, however, that fame and riches were not Hartman's cup of tea. I really hope that he invested wisely because Hartman has been more or less MIA since he left the show.
What can be said about Ms. Long's ill-advised decision to leave one of the highest-rated shows on TV to do films like Camp Beverly Hills and Irreconcilable Differences that hasn't already been said? The only mistake she hasn't made is trying to return to television in a serious role. Would it even be humanly possible to take her seriously after seeing The Money Pit?
Most fans of classic television only remember McLean as Henry Blake on M*A*S*H. What few people know is that he left what would become one the most popular TV shows in history because CBS offered him a chance to star in his own show. He then succeeded in starring in a string of failures in between making appearances on various game shows. In fact, his sitcom Hello Larry is often referenced as one of the worst TV shows ever produced. The ultimate insult came right before his death when he was cast as Baby's father in the TV version of Dirty Dancing.
Most people are well aware of what happened to Suzanne Somers when she overestimated her own personal worth to the success of Three's Company. The mistakes made by her and her husband/manager are legendary. Amazingly, Somers was able to rise above her embarrassing appearances on talk shows where she sang and read poetry to star in another successful sitcom. I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky that she never decided to star in a string of terrible movies.