Ed O’Neill Uncovers True Reason Behind Rift with Amanda Bearse

Ed O'Neill shares insights on past TV show dynamics

by Zain ul Abedin
Ed O’Neill Uncovers True Reason Behind Rift with Amanda Bearse
© Rich Polk/Getty Images

In a revealing conversation on the "Dinner’s On Me" podcast, hosted by his "Modern Family" co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, esteemed actor Ed O’Neill delved into the historical discord with Amanda Bearse, his former colleague from the hit sitcom "Married … With Children." O’Neill provided an introspective look at the factors that contributed to their strained relationship, shedding new light on a long-speculated topic in Hollywood circles.

During the candid discussion, O’Neill expressed regret over actions that may have inadvertently sparked the feud with Bearse, who is widely remembered for her portrayal of Marcy D’Arcy on the show. "For a long time, Amanda and I maintained a strong friendship," O’Neill recounted.

"However, things began to sour, and if I were to guess, it likely started around the time our show was featured on the cover of TV Guide." Highlighting a significant moment in the show's history, O’Neill, now 77, pinpointed the exclusion of Bearse and David Garrison (who played Steve Rhoades) from the TV Guide cover as a pivotal event.

This decision, he believes, was rooted in the editorial policy of featuring only a limited number of cast members. "Shows like 'MASH' and 'Dallas' were exceptions to this rule, but unfortunately, we weren't granted the same flexibility," he explained.

Regret and Reflection

The Emmy-nominated actor reflected on a particular incident that may have deepened the divide. "Amanda expected me to advocate for the entire cast's inclusion on the cover, but I hesitated," he admitted.

"Looking back, I see that we were incredibly fortunate to receive such recognition during our sixth year on air, and I was afraid of jeopardizing this rare opportunity." O’Neill's remorse over not supporting Bearse and other cast members in that crucial moment is palpable.

"If I could turn back time, I would handle the situation differently," he remarked, suggesting a lesson learned in the value of solidarity and standing up for one's team. This heartfelt revelation from O’Neill offers fans a unique glimpse into the dynamics behind one of television's most beloved shows, highlighting the complexities and challenges faced by actors in the entertainment industry.