Question: When and why did Moira Kelly leave the cast of The West Wing? Thanks.


Answer: The word bandied about in the biz (try saying that three times really fast) was that Kelly left the show after its first season because her character, political strategist Madeline "Mandy" Hampton, wasn't given enough to do.

Subsequent West Wing cast issues made the papers as Warner Bros. came to terms with four of its main actors giving the studio a money-related bellyache. Allison Janney (White House press secretary C.J. Cregg), Richard Schiff (communications director Toby Ziegler), Bradley Whitford (deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman) and John Spencer (chief of staff Leo McGarry) were bucking for bigger raises.

The performers might sound greedy until you consider that the stars of Friends earned about $750,000 per show, while Kelsey Grammer was said to make $1.76 million an episode after signing his Frasier deal with Paramount. But jeez, doesn't the joy of public service mean anything anymore?