Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason That '70s Show Recast Laurie Forman In Season 6

The first three seasons of the beloved Fox sitcom That '70s Show featured Lisa Robin Kelly as Laurie Forman, the extremely promiscuous, manipulative, vindictive older sister of Eric Forman (Topher Grace). Laurie was the perfect foil for the quick-witted Eric, and when they tangled with each other (which they did early and often), there was often no clear victor.

Despite her involvement with Ashton Kutcher's dim bulb Michael Kelso, her flunking out of college and lying about it, and her subsequent fling with one of her old professors — not to mention her utter lack of direction, her constant partying, we could go on — she always managed to retain her place as the favorite of stern, ass-kicking family patriarch Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith). In the middle of the show's third season, Laurie went off to beauty school — and she wasn't seen again until season 5, which many of the series' fans found to be a bit odd.

Their suspicions that all was not well with Kelly were confirmed when the part of Laurie was recast with actress Christina Moore at the beginning of season 6. Not only did the move mark the end of Kelly's run on That '70s Show, it marked the end of her acting career — and it was the result of personal troubles which would bring her life to a premature end, as well. Here's why That '70s Show moved on from its original Laurie Forman, the late Lisa Robin Kelly.

Personal troubles led to Lisa Robin Kelly's departure during season 3

Kelly's disappearance from That '70s Show in the middle of season 3 was due to a couple of factors. The series had raised her profile, which resulted in her landing roles in features like Kill the Man and Clubland (both in 1999), and she also popped up in a couple of TV movies. Dealing with her burgeoning fame, however, may have taken a toll; in a 2012 interview with ABC News, she said that she suffered a miscarriage during her tenure on That '70s Show, and that this hardship had led her to develop a drinking problem.

After she was booted from the series in 2001, she appeared in only one project — the 2002 TV movie Alikes — before returning to the role of Laurie in 2003, having seemingly gotten her act together. Unfortunately, her comeback was short-lived; she lasted only a handful of episodes, appearing for the last time in the season 5 finale, in which her character married Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) so he could avoid being deported. 

The season ended on a cliffhanger, as his daughter's unexpected marriage to the "foreign kid" caused Red to have a heart attack — but when the storyline resumed in the first episode of season 6, viewers were shocked to discover that Kelly had departed once again, and all indications pointed to the fact that this time, she wouldn't be back.

The final straw came in season 6

Although Kelly had long been rumored to be involved with drugs, she had always maintained — including in that 2012 interview, which was the most candidly she ever spoke about her issues — that alcohol was her real problem. She acknowledged in that interview that she "ran" from the series, unable to deal with the pressures of network TV stardom while grappling with her alcoholism.

At the time of that interview, she had recently been arrested due to a domestic dispute, and an alarming mugshot had been made public in which the star looked decidedly worse for wear. She maintained, however, that she had been sober for three months, and despite the recent misstep, she was keen to resume her career. "I am not running from this," Kelly said at the time. "I have paid my dues, and if I can make it through this, I can make it through anything."

Unfortunately, she was wrong. Shortly after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence the following year, Kelly checked into Pax Rehab House in Altadena, California. There, on August 15, 2013, she passed away in her sleep due to an accidental drug overdose (via ScreenRant)Kelly's life may have been cut tragically short, but she'll be remembered for as long as That '70s Show maintains its huge fan base — which likely means forever.