If you’ve been following the world of horse racing, you might have been on the bandwagon of I’ll Have Another, the thoroughbred who looked to be the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. Unfortunately, TMZ reports that I’ll Have Another has suffered an injury, and as a result must pull out of Saturday’s Belmont Stakes — a turn of events as shocking as it is heartbreaking, considering the horse might never be able to run again.
But of course, this brings to mind some of the other great shocking exits in pop culture history. People pulling out of movies, television shows, celebrity relationships, small business ventures, rehab — famous people are not always the most reliable bunch, so there’s a lot to choose from. Here’s a list of some of the most surprising leaves of absence that you might remember:
Although the idea of television programs losing their show runners has become a bit of a pandemic lately, it was a huge surprise way back when The Walking Dead‘s ingenious creator and show runner was fired by AMC for being allegedly difficult to work with. The post-Darabont years have served fans well, but one wonders just how amazing Season 2 might have been with the big man on board.
It was a dark, cold day when supermodel Heidi Klum and singer/songwriter Seal announced the end of their seven-year marriage. Nobody saw it coming. The fashion icon and her silver-tongued, rose-kissing husband had seemed like the perfect couple throughout their years in the spotlight. The end of days is truly near.
Shannen Doherty Leaves Beverly Hills, 90210
It didn’t seem like the Peach Pit could maintain without the “good girl”-turned-rebel Brenda; when it was revealed that Doherty would not be returning to Beverly Hills, 90210 for its fifth season, fans of the Fox hit were stunned. One Priestley alone does not a Walsh family make.
Chris Daughtry Gets Kicked Off American Idol
Throughout the fifth season of American Idol, one name stayed on the mouths of fans: Chris Daughtry. The talented North Carolinian rock singer was expected to go all the way to the end that fateful year, but instead only took home the title of fourth place. Some people are still protesting the decision.
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries End Their Marriage
This might not have been the big out-of-nowhere moment that came along with Heidi and Seal, but it was still an eye-widening moment. Mostly for the “Are these people serious?” factor. The truth is, many people assumed that Kim and Kris would eventually split up. But it was the immediacy of the event that makes it worthy of the list.
Boardwalk Empire is one of those shows where no character is safe. Except, logically, the big guys at the center: Nucky Thompson and Jimmy Darmody. After all, how could the show go on if either of these two leading players were killed off? Well, fans will find out come the upcoming third season, as the Season 2 finale gave Michael Pitt’s Jimmy the axe. No one saw it coming. And if they tell you otherwise, you know they’re just trying to show off.
Ali Fedotowsky Walking Off The Bachelor
Usually on The Bachelor, the competing women wait until they’re told to leave before they hit the road. But back on Season 14, the future Bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky took it upon herself to voluntarily exit the reality program on the sixth episode. Needless to say, the series’ focal star, airline pilot Jake Pavelka, was floored.
Adele Quits Music
She was the biggest thing in the music world for quite some time. Following her vocal hemorrhage in late 2011, the pop sensation announced that she would be taking a break from her singing career, possibly for four or five years, save for a one-off performance at the 2012 Brit Awards. The world awaits the next big Adele hit, but wishes her well in the meantime.
Ned Stark Loses His Head on Game of Thrones
Granted, everyone who read the books beforehand probably saw this coming. And yes, the world should have been tipped off by the fact that Stark was played by Sean Bean — the man has almost never survived a role. But still, watching the main character of the HBO hit Game of Thrones get his head chopped off in the penultimate episode of Season 1… it sparked lots of questions.
EVERYONE Leaves Django Unchained
The forthcoming Quentin Tarantino movie can’t seem to hold onto any of its cast members. Since shooting began, the film has amounted, and then lost, a number of formidable players. Among them: Kevin Costner, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Kurt Russell. Good thing Leonardo DiCaprio stayed on board… he looks terrific in the role.
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