Why Did Laura Donnelly Leave Outlander?

Why Did Laura Donnelly Leave Outlander?
Image credit: Starz

The actress’ role in the time-traveling historical drama was a real breakthrough, and that’s the answer.

One of the lead actors leaving a successful show before it wraps the whole story up is quite a rare thing to see on TV now, yet it still happened to Outlander.

Launched back in 2014, the series is getting closer to its inevitable finale in the 8th and last season set to be released sometime in the future, but years ago it had to come up with a heartbreaking decision to let one of its actresses go — not the character though as she remained in the show and, what’s even weirder, just got a different actress to be portrayed by.

Still, Laura Donnelly’s case doesn’t have a lot of precedents to be compared to, though the actress actually had her reasons to quit the show earlier than she was supposed to.

Years ago, Outlander came as a golden ticket for Donnelly to see her career on TV skyrocket in the following years. Before Starz’s extremely successful show came around, the actress starred in several other series, yet her appearance was limited to an unfairly small number of episodes.

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Ironically, Outlander was not a better option in this matter since Donnelly starred in only 8 episodes throughout the first 3 seasons of the series, yet the show’s worldwide fame still did the trick.

However, things became more complicated when Donnelly’s name got forever attached to Outlander, yet for the actress herself it may have been a good sign. The immense success of her performance in the show brought some new fresh perspectives along, and Donnelly eventually couldn’t say no to them.

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Having quit Outlander due to her tight schedule in 2017, the actress was quick to join the Sam Mendes-directed play The Ferryman which later on made its way to Broadway after having a successful run in London.

Donnelly then made a major comeback to the world of cinema and TV starring in a 2019 biopic Tolkien and a historical fantasy drama series Britannia.

Even after having ditched her most prominent role years ago, things couldn’t be better for the actress since she got a lead role in a 2021 sci-fi drama The Nevers and most recently starred in Marvel’s TV special Werewolf by Night.