MOVIES

The Real Reason These Child Stars Were Recast

Perhaps one of the better-known recasting of a child actor happened when Lecy Goranson, who played Becky in the hit sitcom “Roseanne,” left the series partway through Season 5 to go to Vassar College. The series contemplated writing Becky out of the series when she eloped with Mark and moved away. Sarah Chalke ultimately took on the role of Becky for Season 6 and Season 7.

It isn’t uncommon for child actors to be recast when they decide to take a break from acting to pursue higher education. What makes the recasting of Becky Connor unique is that Goranson actually returned to the series repeatedly. After a couple of years away at college, Goranson wanted to come back, although she didn’t have full availability. For a time, both actresses shared the role, before Chalke took over again in Season 9.

The writers of “Roseanne” had fun with the casting change and multiple characters made comments, some veiled and others blatant about other television recasting, while poking fun at the suspension of disbelief required for the audience to accept these changes. When “Roseanne” was rebooted, Goranson came back as Becky, and Chalke was cast as Andrea, a new character who approached Becky about being a surrogate.

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