Charlie Sheen has recently been lobbying to return to Two and a Half Men for the show’s series finale next spring. While Sheen’s 2011 firing was one of the most controversial stories in TV history, he wouldn’t be the first leading star of a hit sitcom to return as a guest star. Here are 5 major stars who left their sitcoms but came back as guests for special appearances.
Steve Carrell (The Office)
Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott left The Office near the end of the show’s 7th season in 2011, and he appeared unlikely to return for the series finale last year. In a surprise twist though, Carrell returned for an unadvertised appearance to help send off the hit NBC sitcom.
Ashton Kutcher (That 70’s Show)
Ashton Kutcher, who later went on to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, left That 70’s Show near the beginning of the show’s 8th and final season in fall 2005. Kutcher’s Michael Kelso returned though for the series finale in 2006.
Topher Grace (That 70’s Show)
Topher Grace left That 70’s Show at the end of the show’s 7th season, with the void left by his lead character Eric Foreman never being replaced. Like his co-star Ashton Kutcher, Grace returned for the show’s series finale in 2006.
Shelley Long (Cheers)
Shelley Long left Cheers at the end of the show’s 5th season in 1987, in the midst of the show’s absolute peak. Long returned 6 years later in 1993 for the show’s series finale.
Michael J. Fox (Spin City)
After leaving Spin City at the end of its 4th season in 2000 due to dealing with Parkinson’s Disease, Michael J. Fox returned to the show in early Season 6 for a few episodes, and actually interacted with his replacement: CHARLIE SHEEN!