The drama television series Lost was on from 2004 to 2010, telling the story of a group of survivors who crashed onto a mysterious island. There were polar bears, secret bunkers hidden underground and jumps through time (both backwards and forwards). There was a Smoke Monster, a group of people who followed Jacob and a research project called the Dharma Initiative. And there were characters who either drew fans in in a big way or turned them off completely, yet who kept this thrilling and crazy story going, regardless.
When thinking about the characters, though, which casting decisions sort of ruined this popular TV show, and who, do we think, could have or even should have been left out of the story entirely? And which ones helped to save it all, making for interesting and made-up people who were played by beloved actors and actresses on this show? Let’s find out...
15 Ruined: Michelle Rodriguez As Ana Lucia Cortez
Ana Lucia Cortez was a survivor of Oceanic Flight 815, and due to her no-nonsense attitude and habit for speaking her mind, she was a figurehead of sorts amongst the tail section group. She was played by actress Michelle Rodriguez, who is known for her role in action films such as Resident Evil, Machete, Battle: Los Angeles and The Fast and the Furious movies.
While it would have certainly taken strength and determination to survive on The Island, Ana Lucia was a bit too much for many fans, and she was eventually “taken care of” by Michael Dawson.
14 Saved: Jorge Garcia As Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes
A fan favorite on this series was Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes. He had some hilarious lines (“Dude, you’ve got some Arzt on you.”). He had a special relationship with The Numbers. He got everyone’s mind off of any worries or stress with a game of golf. He fell in love with Libby.
Spoiler Alert: He became the protector of The Island. And Jorge Garcia did an excellent job portraying all of this.
13 Ruined: Maggie Grace As Shannon Rutherford
Shannon Rutherford and Boone Carlyle were also survivors of the crash, as well as step-siblings with an interesting bond, and Maggie Grace was the one who played Shannon. Her character alone left little to be desired, as she just sat around complaining and tanning. And while some may have liked Grace in Taken, many Lost fans struggled to watch Shannon start to develop a relationship with Sayid.
12 Saved: Matthew Fox As Jack Shephard
The star of the show was Jack Shephard, as played by Matthew Fox. He was a doctor, he was friendly, he was handsome, he was inspiring… And all of that combined to make him the natural leader of the group, as well as the one involved in a love triangle with Kate and Sawyer.
Of course, not everyone is going to like every character and every casting decision, but overall, this was a smart one.
11 Ruined: Sheila Kelley As Zoe
Actress Sheila Kelley has been in several movies and shows, such as L.A. Law, Touched by an Angel, ER, The Sopranos, Hawaii Five-0, Gossip Girl, NCIS and The Good Doctor. In 2010, for five episodes, she was on Lost as Zoe, a geophysicist that Charles Widmore hired, and she was bad news all around.
10 Saved: Michael Emerson As Ben Linus
Ben Linus led The Others, and throughout the series, fans as well as his fellow characters went back and forth, wondering if he could be trusted or not. One thing is clear, though: Michael Emerson did beyond a great job of bringing this character to life, as he earned Emmy nominations and spots on lists of the best TV characters.
9 Ruined: Rebecca Mader As Charlotte Lewis
Lost’s story is a crazy one, and it grew more complex when new characters from a freighter were introduced. One of these characters was Charlotte Lewis, a cultural anthropologist played by Rebecca Mader. This group’s mission, her relationship with Daniel Faraday, her headaches caused by time traveling… It wasn’t the best part of the show.
8 Saved: Nestor Carbonell As Richard Alpert
One of the most interesting characters on this series was Richard Alpert, and in a truly thrilling episode, his backstory was told; fans finally found out why this man never aged, as he traded it in, proving his loyalty to Jacob.
It is impossible to imagine anyone but Nestor Carbonell in this role!
7 Ruined: Harold Perrineau As Michael Dawson
After finally reuniting, Michael Dawson and his son, Walt, crashed onto The Island. Then, Walt was taken, and Michael went to extreme lengths to get him back. Finally, Michael returned to The Island, but he lost his life that time. It may have been a sad tale, but Harold Perrineau’s role in this story could have been better.
6 Saved: Jeff Fahey As Frank Lapidus
Everyone’s favorite pilot Frank Lapidus, who was caught up in the action on The Island twice and helped to save the day. This memorable character was portrayed by actor Jeff Fahey, who has been in numerous other series, like One Life to Live, Nash Bridges, Crossing Jordan, Psych, Law & Order: LA, Under the Dome and Grimm.
5 Ruined: Tania Raymonde As Alex Rousseau
Another character with a not-so-pleasant tale (yet who is still on the “ruined” list) was Alex Rousseau, played by Tania Raymonde; she was taken from her mother (Danielle Rousseau), raised by The Others and eventually taken out during a big scene, after Ben, who raised her, would not do what Keamy wanted.
4 Saved: L. Scott Caldwell As Rose Nadler
Some good came from The Island: It healed Rose Nadler. This character, who was played by actress L. Scott Caldwell, had cancer and was then separated from her husband during the plane crash. Eventually, though, these two built a cabin to enjoy this new place and make the most of their situation.
3 Ruined: Elizabeth Mitchell As Juliet Burke
Juliet Burke was part of The Others, as well as a fertility specialist. She was forced to stay on The Island, she couldn’t see her sister, she had to infiltrate the main group of survivors, and she even ended up falling in love with a fan favorite, Sawyer.
This character, portrayed by Elizabeth Mitchell, was usually stuck between a rock and a hard place, but her decisions weren’t always the best.
2 Saved: Titus Welliver As Man in Black
The Man in Black. The Smoke Monster. The thing that, if it escaped from The Island, would have been the end of everything good. And one of the biggest mysteries and appeals on this show. Yes, this character was a good one, and Titus Welliver was the perfect choice for the human form.
1 Ruined: Marsha Thomason As Naomi Dorrit
Someone else who was brought in by Charles Widmore (and who is on the “ruined” list) was Naomi Dorrit, and her end came after Locke threw a knife into her back. This character was played by actress Marsha Thomason, who has also been seen in series like White Collar, General Hospital, 2 Broke Girls, Bones and The Good Doctor.