ByDustin Murphy, writer at Creators.co
Gaming, movie, and television enthusiast who just happens to be a comicbook nerd. Contact him at [email protected]
Dustin Murphy

It's only been a couple of days since the news broke that CBS would be down another actor on Hawaii Five-O ahead of its launch. Actor Daniel Dae Kim walked as a statement in favor of actor pay equality. His decision came on the heels of news that he was making 10 to 15 percent less than his co-stars. While Kim leaving could cause potential trouble for the show, the fight for equality is worth it. Even if Kim's tenure on the show only lasted seven seasons, he definitely made an impact and generated a following of fans. However, Daniel Dae Kim isn't the only one who left his smash-hit show for compelling reasons. Here are five other actors who have followed suit and exited their smash-hit shows.

5. Nina Dobrev — The Vampire Diaries

'The Vampire Diaries' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]
'The Vampire Diaries' [Credit: Warner Bros. TV]

Nina Dobrev had a solid five years on screen in the television adaptation of the smash-hit book series TheVampire Diaries. In the show, Nina Dobrev played the roles of the show's mainstay villains Amara and Katherine Pierce while also serving as the show's main character, Elena Gilbert.

While on screen, her character becomes the main interest of Damon Salvatore, but off screen, Dobrev also had a real-life relationship with fellow co-star Ian Somerhalder. During the show, their relationship ended up going sour, which also ended Nina's tenure on the show.

4. Nicole Beharie — Sleepy Hollow

'Sleepy Hollow' [Credit: Fox]
'Sleepy Hollow' [Credit: Fox]

If you have watched Fox's Sleepy Hollow, you know that both Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison have become quite the delicious duo. However, Nicole Beharie was let go by the company because they felt her character didn't play a larger role in the overall story. Truth be told? They pulled the trigger on Nicole's character in order to keep Ichabod Crane star Tom Mison around. Sound weird? Well, Fox's reasoning was that the character Ichabod was an essential element and needed to become the show's main focus.

3. Thomas Gibson — Criminal Minds

'Criminal Minds' [Credit: CBS TV]
'Criminal Minds' [Credit: CBS TV]

During his run as Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner, Thomas Gibson gave us an acting performance unlike any other. From his character's calm demeanor, level-headed approach, and father-like mentorship to the team, Hotch served as a centerpiece for the show. A fan favorite for over 200 episodes, Hotchner became a major focus for the fanbase.

Thomas Gibson's departure, however, is a bit weird. His reason for leaving? He got into a dispute with the writers over the script. This resulted in Gibson kicking one of the writers and truly being booted from the show.

2. Katherine Heigl — Grey's Anatomy

'Grey's Anatomy' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]
'Grey's Anatomy' [Credit: Disney-ABC TV]

When you're an actor on one of TV's biggest dramas, you hope your character continues to grow as the show progresses. While Heigl's character started out as a surgical intern, we eventually saw her become a permanent hospital resident. However, it wasn't until we saw Heigl's character get written off the show that she fully departed.

The reason behind her departure? According to her co-stars it was because of hurt feelings, instant success, and large paychecks that things began to spin out of control for Katherine Heigl. Now, the actress has seen some box office success after having left the smash-hit series.

1. Grace Park — Hawaii Five-0

Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park on Hawaii Five-0 (Credits: CBS)
Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park on Hawaii Five-0 (Credits: CBS)

Much like her co-star Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park also struggled under contract negotiations. Having issues with her pay, the actress decided to leave the action-police-drama Hawaii Five-O ahead of its eighth season, which premiers this fall. During her time on the show she played the role of former surfer Kono Kalakaua.

Park's character was a recruit who would go to join the big dogs later in the series after being recruited by McGarrett. While her character was a big part to the series, she could meet a rough end as the showrunners decide the best way to write her off.

What is one actor or actress exit that stumped you the most? Sound off in the comments.

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