Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Ed O’Neill Opens Up About Feud With ‘Married… with Children’ Costar Amanda Bearse

Ed O’Neill Opens Up About Feud With ‘Married… with Children’ Costar Amanda Bearse

Ed O’Neill played grumpy shoe salesman Al Bundy on Married… with Children for 11 seasons but a feud hung over the cast. Ed O’Neill clashed with costar Amanda Bearse, who played Marcy D’Arcy on the show. It got so bad that Bearse simply refused to speak with him anymore. What could have caused such a serious rift?

O’Neill pulled back the curtain and talked about it. He recently was a guest on his Modern Family costar Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s podcast Dinner’s On Me with Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Ed O’Neill said he regretted how things fell apart with Amanda Bearse.

“We didn’t get along, and we did for a long time. We were great friends. And I could guess, I don’t want to speak for her… It started when we got the cover of TV Guide,” Ed O’Neill said.

Amanda Bearse and David Garrison, who played Steve Rhoades, weren’t going to be on the cover at all. “They were told they could not be on the cover,” O’Neill said, referring to TV Guide‘s cover restrictions. “Because they had a rule: there’s only so many [that] can be on the cover. Now they violated that for like two shows, I think it was M*A*S*H and Dallas.”

Ed O’Neill Reveals What Sparked Feud With Amanda Bearse

He said that those covers were an exception. TV Guide wasn’t going to change their guidelines just for O’Neill’s show. He also said that the show was “lucky to get it,” meaning the cover. Ed O’Neill mentioned that at the time, the show was in its sixth year. Actually, Married…With Children was in its third season. Amanda Bearse and Garrison, though, made their best pitch to get on the cover with Ed O’Neill.

“We were thrilled to get the cover of TV Guide,” O’Neill said. “It was big. And Amanda and David came out in unison from their dressing room. We were on the soundstage, and she said, ‘We expect you to go to [co-creator] Ron Leavitt and tell him this doesn’t work. We’re all on the cover.’”

O’Neill had an idea to play diplomat about this issue. “If I was diplomatic,” he said, “I should have said, ‘Fine. I’ll talk to him about it.’ But instead, I said, ‘No. I’m not doing that. I’m sorry you guys aren’t on the cover. I really am! I wish you were! But we can’t do anything about it. What do you want me to do, lie to you, and tell you that you know, I’m going to go to bat for you? I’m not,’” O’Neill said.

“That’s my regret,” Ed O’Neill said regarding his beef with Amanda Bearse. He admits that he would have done things differently in retrospect.

‘Married… with Children’ Was Big Hit for Fox Network

Katey Sagal, David Faustino, and Christina Applegate also starred on Married… With Children. When the show premiered in the mid- to late-1980s, it eventually would become one of the biggest hits for the new Fox network.

Ed O’Neill, as we said, went on to star for 11 seasons on Modern Family. He is one of the few TV stars to have back-to-back successful TV series. Ed O’Neill and Amanda Bearse are still not on speaking terms to this day.

Married… With Children is still popular in reruns. They can be seen on PlutoTV these days and are also carried by other stations.