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'Boy Meets World's' original Topanga says she was fired because she wasn't 'pretty enough'

Bonnie Morgan speaks out for the first time about her experience being cast as Topanga Lawrence — and then quickly fired.
/ Source: TODAY

Before Danielle Fishel became a ‘90s teen icon for her role as Topanga Lawrence in “Boy Meets World,” another actor was cast as the free-spirited, book smart young girl.

For the first time, actor Bonnie Morgan opened up about being the original Topanga in the sitcom during the June 26 episode of “Pod Meets World.”

Morgan recalled auditioning multiple times when she was 12, before saying that she was fired because director David Trainer didn't think she was “pretty enough.”

The "Rings” actor told hosts Fishel, Rider Strong and Will Friedle that there was “a power struggle” that included “Boy Meets World” creator Michael Jacobs, who Morgan said wanted her for the part. After landing the role, she said the first day of set “was the weirdest day of my life” and “all the adults were very short with me.”

Split image of Bonnie Morgan and Danielle Fishel.
Bonnie Morgan, left, and Danielle Fishel as Topanga, right.Jason LaVeris / FilmMagic / ABC Photo Archives / Getty Images

“The table read was great, fun,” Morgan said. “It couldn’t have gone better with everyone around. The minute I was separated out, it was another story.”

According to Morgan, when she was working on a scene with lead star Ben Savage, who played Cory Matthews, he was being a goofball and making her “a nervous wreck.”

“Ben started kind of poking at me a little bit. He would make faces and try to break me, and it worked. At this point, I was becoming a nervous wreck,” she said, adding that she was struggling with a line. “David was just like, ‘Get it together!’ and I’m trying to pull it together, hold it together in sheer fear and Ben just kept doing this thing to crack me up.”

There was later another line where she had to say the word “peace” and Trainer kept telling her to “say it sweeter,” she said. Morgan said that “he got really close to me” and asked her to say it like she was saying “happy birthday.” The experience, she said, made the rest of the day awkward and at the end of the day they told her she could take her stuff home.

The next day, which she said was a Saturday, her parents got a phone call. “They fired you,” her dad told her.

“Fortunately, I had been with my agent a very long time. ... The director said I couldn’t take direction, which is one thing I had never been accused of,” Morgan said. “I was working a lot and my agent immediately fought back on that one. It’s like, ‘She can’t take direction. We have to fire her.’”

Morgan recalled her agent saying “that’s a lie.”

“It came out very quickly to my agent that the director didn’t think I was pretty enough,” Morgan said. “Literally did not think I was pretty enough, so that meant that a grown-up, a man, a boss, could lie about me and tell me I was untalented because the fact was he didn’t think I was pretty.”

Morgan was “shattered,” she said. “I don’t know a lot of adults that could handle that, let alone a quirky kid.” She didn't know who replaced her until the show premiered in 1993.

Trainer and Disney–ABC Domestic Television did not immediately respond to request for comment by E! News.

Fishel, who has previously shared her memories of auditioning for Topanga after the original actor was let go, revealed to Morgan that she auditioned “Friday night, to be exact.” “By the time you left on Friday you were already gone and you didn’t know.”

“Boy Meets World” would go on to run for seven seasons, concluding in 2000. In 2014, Fishel, Strong and Friedle, along with Savage and a few other actors from the original series, reprised their roles in “Girl Meets World.” The Disney Channel show concluded in 2017.

Fishel, Strong and Friedle began their podcast, in which they rewatch “Boy Meets World” and share never-before-heard stories from the set, in June 2022. They recently shared in an interview with Variety that Savage “disappeared” from their lives without an explanation and that they haven’t heard from him in three years. A rep for Savage has not responded to's request for comment.