#Movies & TV
The Most Dramatic TV-Family Feuds of All Time
by Jennifer Lafferty
We all like to think that the stars of our favorite TV sitcoms like each other in real life, especially when the series is about a loving family such as classic shows The Brady Bunch or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But it’s a shock to find out how badly many of these castmates got along off-screen. From tantrums to rivalries, here are eight classic TV families who fought like real families.
The Brady Bunch: In the case of on-screen sisters Maureen McCormick (Marcia) and Eve Plumb (Jan), the real feuding began long after the show ended, due to McCormick’s alleging in her memoirs, that the two had an on-set lesbian relationship. Because of the rift, McCormick and Plumb have refused to appear on shows together.
Martin: Tisha Campbell-Martin abruptly left this hit 1990s show, later filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against her on-screen husband, Martin Lawrence, and the show, also claiming physical and verbal abuse. The case was settled, but when Campbell-Martin returned for the finale, producers had to ensure the co-stars didn’t have any scenes together.
Charmed: Feuding on a show about sisters who are witches seems appropriate. Shannen Doherty, who has a reputation for not playing well with others, had trouble with Alyssa Milano and with the show itself, leading to Doherty’s termination. There was: “too much drama on the set and not enough passion for the work”, explained Doherty. In this video interview with Sway, you can see Shannen Doherty and her other “Charmed” TV sister, Holly Marie Combs, weighing in on Milano’s opinion that the show was like “high school”.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: One of the most publicized TV family feuds was between Will Smith and the original Aunt Vivian, Janet Hubert. While Smith accused her of resenting his success, she complains that he did “some heinous, horrible things to me”. After her departure, Hubert says she felt “crucified” and that no one would defend her. See more in the video above.
Welcome Back Kotter: The public feud between Gabe Kaplan and Marcia Strassman, who played the easygoing Mr. and Mrs. Kotter, divided the loyalties if the Sweathogs. Strassman hated the show and tried to break her contract. One complaint was that: “Gabe runs hot and cold, one day your best friend, the next day not speaking”.
Webster: When real-life husband and wife, Susan Clark and Alex Karras, decided to produce and star in this 1980s sitcom, they didn’t expect Emmanuel Lewis, who played their adopted son, to steal their spotlight but that’s what happened when ABC shifted the focus on Lewis, who also became one of the producers, creating significant behind-the-scenes tension.
I Dream of Jeannie: He played the sensible level-headed Major Nelson in this 1960s classic sitcom, but off screen the volatile, eccentric Larry Hagman couldn’t have been more opposite. With his wild rages, Hagman, who admitted he enjoyed being “mildly loaded” while on set, frequently upset castmembers, including Barbara Eden, who starred as his genie-turned-wife.
The Cosby Show: In light of the many sexual assault allegations against TV icon Bill Cosby, it’s a little ironic to learn that he was outraged about on-screen daughter Lisa Bonet appearing nude in the controversial film Angel Heart. Bonet was fired from Cosby Show spinoff A Different World, reportedly because she was “often late and headstrong against Cosby’s direction of the cast”.