18

I believe it's been mentioned elsewhere, but in compiling the question "Besides those who did, did any other Star Trek cast members come close to leaving?" I couldn't find a question on Tasha Yar's departure.

What are the in- and out-of-universe stories?

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    The real question is why couldn't the writers make up a better death than that! – Often Right Oct 10 '15 at 23:48
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From an interview with StarTrek.com in 2012:

If you had the chance, today, knowing what you know now, to make that decision again, would you make the same choice?

Crosby: Yes. For me, I was miserable. I couldn’t wait to get off that show. I was dying. This was not an overnight decision. I was grateful to have made that many episodes, but I didn’t want to spend the next six years going “Aye, aye, captain,” and standing there, in the same uniform, in the same position on the bridge. It just scared the hell out of me that this was what I was going to be doing for the next X-amount of years. I think you have to take your chances. I was really young. I didn’t have to make house payments or put kids through private school or support people. I was free to make those kinds of decisions. I’d been in acting school really dreaming of playing all kinds of different things. Whether it’ll happen or not, you don’t know, but you’ve got to give yourself a chance. God forbid you go through your life thinking, “What if?”

From the second part of that interview:

You asked to be let out of your TNG contract, and you were. How surprised were you, then, when you were invited back for “Yesterday’s Enterprise”?

Crosby: I was surprised on so many levels. First of all, my character was dead. But, I did leave on really good terms. Gene Roddenberry and I met one on one in his office. There was no animosity. I don’t know that anybody really wanted me to go. I think it stirred up a lot of things in all the other cast members. I’m not exactly sure what, but you’ve got to question your own commitment or your own place, what you’re doing there. I think it stirs up stuff. However, Gene and I were very clear about what was going on. He said to me, “I don’t want you to go, but I get it. I get why you’re leaving. I was a young writer at one time and I was hungry and I was frustrated, and I get that.” We hugged and that was it. He got where I was coming from.

The rumor that her Playboy spread was responsible for her being fired is false:

First, while Crosby appeared in the May 1988 issue of Playboy, the spread was a reprinting of a pictorial that she had done for the March 1979 issue, early in her career as a model, with the selling point being “Here’s Bing Crosby’s granddaughter … nude!” So she had already posed nude when she was hired for the series. (Playboy reprinted the photos nine years later without letting Crosby know. She told People magazine at the time, “It’s a bit exploitative of Playboy to do that, I suppose. But I’m not bitter about it.”)

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  • This seems to be a repeating theme on Star Trek e.g. the writers wanted to make Ro Laren a major character, the actress thought she had a better career on the outside, and Michelle Forbes managed one other big role (BSG) and has hardly worke since. – Gaius Jan 8 '16 at 12:22
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    @Gaius Forbes had a major part in True Blood S2, starred in AMC's The Killing, major role in The Returned, major role in In Treatment, major role in 24 S2,... She's got 66 credits in IMDb, which I wouldn't qualify as "has hardly worked since". – BCdotWEB Jan 8 '16 at 12:33
  • @AGaius Didn't she do an extended stint on Law and Order too? – user001 Jan 8 '16 at 13:32
  • Interesting! I have never seen or even heard of those. Good for her! – Gaius Jan 8 '16 at 18:57

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